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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Sir. Epua Martin George" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2018 07:38:06 -0800
Subject: CONTACT DHL COURIER COMPANY AND YOUR ATM PIN CODE REMAIN (2201).
I have registered your ATM MASTER CARD with DHL COMPANY Benin Republic Branch this morning and we agreed upon that the delivery of your ATM Card will take off tomorrow morning,So reconfirm your delivery address, Name,Address,Phone,Sex and occupation and ID Proof. to DHL Director Mr.Eze Great via below email or fax:
Contact Eze Great.
Tel: (412) 387-7238
Contact him urgently because I will be at the amount in your Card is US$3.555,000.00USD Three Million Five Hundred And Fifty Five Thousand United State Dollars only and your Pin code is:(2201) and reply only to this Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Sir. Epua Martin George