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.
- 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: "Mr. Julian Chu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2018 14:28:22 -0700
Subject: Dear Fund Owner.
Dear Fund Owner,
We want to inform you that the International Monetary Fund authorized our bank to release your overdue contract inheritance payment fund amounted $5million to you, Though the fund originated from west Africa precisely Nigeria but from all the indications, the people in charge of your payment back in Africa failed woefully to release your fund to you after all your effort to claim it thus, The IMF and UN decided to hand your fund over to our bank here in the states so it can be paid to you via bank to bank wire or online banking depending the method of payment preferable to you.
You are hereby warned to stop whatever communications you are having with group of persons or person in regards to your fund because they will continue to demand money from you with no fruition.
Get back to us immediately for more directives on information we shall be needing from you so your fund can be released to you via bank to bank wire payment or online banking which will enable you to access your fund and also transfer it from your online account to any bank account of your choice.
Make your reply to **** email@example.com ****
Mr. Julian Chu