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:
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Osworth Daniel" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2018 08:22:52 -0400
Subject: Good News
Prominent User of the Internet How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family?I hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition. This is to inform you that a total cash prize of US $6,000,000.00 Dollars, given to the first (8) people who will be compensated in this world internet Programs.All participants were selected randomly from Worldwide Web site through computer draw system and Extracted from over 100.000 companies I am using this opportunity to thank you for using the internet daily.
Due to your effort, using internet programs indoor and in your office, we want to compensate you and show our Gratitude to you with the sum of $6,000,000.00 United States of America Dollars we have authorized Rev. Kelvin Green in capital city ABUJA nigeria to assist you in getting your compensation checks across to you. The name and contact address with you want your cheque to be delivered to.
Rev. Kelvin Green is as follows;
CONTACT AGENT: Rev. Kelvin Green
Finally remember that I have forwarded instruction to Rev. Kelvin Green on your behalf to send the cash prize of SIX MILLIONS United State Dollars to you as soon as you contact him with your Delivery address and Telephone numbers without delay.
Dr. Osworth Daniel
world Library & Museum
Former Director International Online
Co-coordinator. C 2009 WORLD