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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: "Dorien Graaf(Mrs)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2019 01:25:43 +0200
Subject: Your Batch Details
Introducing our People Help People charity sweepstakes designed to create self-employment and wealth around the world, we at BankGiro Loterij NL are very pleased to inform you that your email address attached to E-Ticket No. 011-9085555(03-26) has won you the sum of EUR 750,000 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euro Only) in our first ever promotional sweepstakes. For further details and remittance procedures, please send us email with your full names and telephone number on our email address below;
Van Eeghenstraat 70,
1071 GK Amsterdam, the Netherlands.