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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Steven Duke" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2018 05:25:18 -0700
Subject: Your ATM card compensation fund ($5.5Million)!!!
I write to notify you that our Delivering Agent has arrived at Charlotte Douglas International Airport North Carolina with your ATM Card Package. His Name is Agent John Harrison.He has been there with your ATM card Package Which Contains Your Compensation Payment worth of five Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars ($5.5 Million, US Dollars) From United Nations Fund Compensation Unit office here in Benin.
Kindly contact him with your address on how to reach your door step including your phone number. Dont let Him know how much the ATM card package contain.
Follow the instruction as I told you. email him with below email address (email@example.com) reconfirm your delivering information to him now. Your Name, Your Address, Your Airport, Direct Phone number.
Mr. Steven Duke