fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. JOHN JERRY" <"www."@world.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "MR. JOHN JERRY" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:22:11 +0900 (JST)
Subject: YOUR URGENT REPLY IS NEEDED.
YOUR URGENT REPLY IS NEEDED.
Are you alive or dead? We received several emails from one Mr. Frank
Harold who narrated to us about the auto car accident you had 2 weeks
ago. Mr. Frank made us to understand that you are in hospital for
treatment but there is no hope of your recovery. He stated that he is
your business associates and your next of kin whom you have chosen and
permitted to inherit all your properties. He is contacting this office
base on your contract /Inheritance payment fund valid
USD$10,500,000.00 (Ten million, five hundred thousand dollars only)
which is about to be pay to you. He requested that the payment should
now be transfer into his own personal account as he stated below.
Account Name Mr. Frank Harold
Citibank Banamex USA
2029 Century Park East Los Angeles, CA 90067
Routing Number: 122233645
Account Number: 5944130210
we request your confirmation before we can process this transfer to
Mr. Frank Bank Account. This is to avoid releasing your money to wrong
person because Mr. Frank is too eager and ready to follow every
instruction to have this money into his account. If you did not have
auto accident and you did not permit Mr. Frank to claim your money,
kindly reply this message with your full contact information so we can
process the release of the $10.5 million dollars to you.
Waiting to hear from you
MR. JOHN JERRY
Director Payment Department
Unity Finance Trust Bank