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.
- 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: "Mr. Flint John" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 02 Jun 2019 02:59:53 -0700
Subject: GREETING'S FROM MR.JOHN FLINT.....93.187.129.09
My name is Flint John, a senior Auditing Officer with the reserve bank of South Africa, I write you this proposal in good faith and if you are not interested, please ignore this mail and go about your normal business, I have very vital information that will benefit our families to give to you, but first I must have your trust before I review it to you because it involved (GBP 15,000.000.00) Fifteen Million British Pound Sterling and I will not want it exposed for any reason and I hope that you would not betray me.
I will wait to hear from you ASAP, On my private email:email@example.com
Mr. Flint John