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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mavis Wanczyk <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2019 23:09:04 +0000
Subject: Charity Donation
Good day, Dear friend
How are you doing and how are you doing? My name is Mavis Wanczyk from
the United States of America (USA) Winner of $ 758.7 million in the
Power Ball Lottery jackpot as the biggest prize a single fate for
American history on August 23 In 2017 my jackpot was a turn around for
me . After I received my winnings I decided to help as much people as
I can hence I opened a charity organisation to help reach out to the
less privileged and those in financial strain. My Charity Foundation has
selected you and your family as our lucky Beneficiaries for
$1,000,000.00 USD. Accept this offer and use for the improvement and
empowerment of your family and your loved ones. For more information,
get back to me and we shall commence from there. I want to make an
impact in my generation.
Please you can read more about me and my Power Ball lottery Winnings via
Mavis L Wanczyk