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 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)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Douglas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2018 05:47:36 +0000
Subject: Re: Scam Victims Compensation.
You have finally been chosen among 350 scam victims to be paid you will
receive the total sum of $1.5 million dollars this payment is been approved
by Mrs. Mary Williams who work for the united Nation kindly act fast now to
receive your compensation, because a man came saying that you sent him to
claim the money he also said you are dead that he will be receiving all
payment that you are to receive so please if you are alive please contact
us immediately to stop the intention of Mr. John Wills, your $1.5 million
dollars will be release to you within 48 hours of compliance to this message
so therefore you are advise to confirm details below for normalization on your behalf
1. Full Name
2. Residential Address:
3. Telephone No:
Awaiting your urgent response as you get this message so all necessary
protocol will be observed and your payment will be released to you 24hours
is all you have to confirm if you send Mr. John Wills.
you can call me on below number for quick attention to your message.
Re:Hello Kevin Did You Send Mr. John To Claim Your Money
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail and any attachments may contain privileged and/or confidential information. This e-mail is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, you are hereby notified that reading, copying, disclosing, distributing, disseminating or taking any action in relation to the contents of this e-mail and any of its attachments is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately and permanently delete the original e-mail and destroy any copies or printouts of this e-mail as well as any attachments.