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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Ambassador Eric Donald <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Ambassador Eric Donald <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:28:47 +0800 (HKT)
Subject: My regards to you and your family.
My regards to you and your family. I am Ambassador Eric Donald from the US Embassy Ethiopia. Please you need to reply back to me right now and reconfirm to me if you are available to receive your fund in your house immediately today because I am on my way to your house right now so that I must be able to deliver your $2,500,000.00 million USD fund from the Embassy to you immediately today.
I want to let you know that some group of corrupted officials diverted your beneficiary fund from the United Nations to a security company in Benin Republic, but you are very lucky that the US Embassy was able to recover your fund from the security company, so I am on my way to your house right now to deliver your fund to you and I must like to deliver the fund to you immediately today. It also came to our notice that those criminals that attempted to divert your fund might be in contact with you in other to confuse you and steal some money from you, but you must avoid any contact with them to avoid you losing your fund, because the authorities must terminate your transaction and return the fund to the government reserve account if you keep dealing with those criminals.
Right now, I am in New York City and I need to start coming to your house right away so that I must be able to deliver your fund to you immediately today.
I want to let you know that it has been agreed by the authorities that you must need to receive your complete fund worth $2.500,000.00(Two million five hundred united state dollars)immediately today, so please you need to reply back to me right away with your available telephone number and also reconfirm your correct home address where you want me to deliver your fund for you, so that I will start coming over to your house right away and deliver your fund to you immediately today as scheduled.
Reconfirm your available telephone number and your correct delivery address right now so that I will proceed to your house right now and deliver your fund to you.
Reply back to my email (firstname.lastname@example.org)or you send me a message on Tel: +1 (252) 557-1311.
I await your urgent feedback so that I must be able to deliver your fund to you immediately today.
Ambassador Eric Donald