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:
- ",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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "email@example.com" (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: "Mrs.Sandra Please" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 30 May 2019 14:32:57 -0700
Subject: For Your Past Effort/Contact Agent Walter Gusky Immediatly
I am Mrs.Sandra Plessis from Republic of Benin, How are you and your family? You may not know me again, but I contacted you previously concerning transferring $10m into your account. You agreed to help me but later opted out because you said you will not pay any upfront money.
I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the money to someone else who was capable of assisting me. Due to your effort,sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed during the course of the transaction I want to compensate you and show my gratitude I have bought some gifts which include jewelries, Clothes, iPad and laptops for you. but sorry I did not pay for the courier company that will convey it to your house since I did not know your current location, Inside the laptops, you will see $20,000 each (50 laptops) making it $1,000,000,00. I hid them inside the laptops so that nobody will see it.
Presently I am in China for investments,on my arrival to Berkeley Airport in California, I asked the airport authority who I can entrust the package into his or her hand and I was refer to Agent Walter Gusky an America Citizen that have his office close to the airport,so feel free to contact him for the delivery of the package to you,because I handed over the package to him.
Contact Person: Mr. Walter Gusky
Please Agent Walter Gusky with your address and phone number to enable deliver the box that contain the gift.
Once again thanks for your advice and encouragement