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:
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. David Werfel" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2019 07:10:49 +0100
Subject: YOUR URGENT RESPOND NEEDED FOR YOUR PACKAGE,
How are you doing today? We are here writing to inform you that youre ATM Card Package Which Contains Your Compensation Payment worth of Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars ($5.5 Million, US Dollars)
From the United Nations Fund Compensation Unit office signed to deliver to you by United Nations Delivering Agent Mr. Leon R. Fox that has been there at the International Airport for long time now.
We write to let you know that after our meeting with United Nations 2 days ago we concluded the release of your Package, therefore be advice to contact the UN Delivering Agent Mr. Leon R. Fox to receive your package within 48 hours as it has been instructed. Email him with this email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) Call Phone: (919) 769-4763
Reconfirm your delivering information to him for immediate delivery to you within 24 hours.
Internal Revenue Department with United Nations Authorized Shipping Center®
(IRS) Headquarters: Washington, D.C.,
United States Collect your shipment
Chief Officer Mr. David Werfel
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