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:
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Brian Lloyd" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Brian Lloyd" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2018 20:20:12 -0800
Subject: Re: Dear Beneficiary !!
I am compelled to write you this email for the following reason:- One of
my clients who is now deceased, in His Will, left for someone who bears
your name his entire Cash deposit valued Twenty one million Three
hundred thousand dollars (US$21,300,000.00). The truth is that, l do not
know if you are the beneficiary or not. For two years now, l have tried
effortlessly to locate the name on the will without success hence l have
Can you please get back to me urgently if you are capable of investing
this fund for any profitable ventures in your Country, contact me for
further explanation. my private email: email@example.com
Mr. Brian Lloyd.