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:
- 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 british pounds" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
Fraud email example:
From: "Richard & Angela Maxwell" <Jlb@bingmancc.com>
Reply-To: "Richard & Angela Maxwell" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2018 01:57:27 -0800
Subject: Good News For You. Must Read.
My wife and I won the Euro Millions Lottery of £53 Million British Pounds and we have voluntarily decided to donate 1,000,000.00 (One Million EURO) to 5 individuals randomly as part of our own charity project.
To verify our lottery winnings,please see our interview by visiting the web page below:
After a computer spinball,your email address was among the 5 random emails which were submitted to us by the Google, Inc as a web user; if you have received our email, kindly send us the below details so that we can transfer your 1,000,000.00 (One Million EURO) in your name or direct our offshore paying bank to effect the transfer of the funds to your designated bank account in your own country.
Send your response to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard & Angela Maxwell