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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: FIRSTBANKPLC FIRSTBANKPLC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2019 18:11:17 +0100
Subject: DID YOU SEND MR JUSTIN MCDONALD TO PICK YOUR ATM CARD IN OUR BANK?
First Bank Plaza
Off Adeola Odeku/Idejo Street
Please be informed that we received a letter from one Mr.Justin
McDonald who said that he is your family Lawyer from United States Of
America this morning in our head office in Victoria Island Lagos
He made a requested that you directed him to pick up your ATM CARD
Issued by First Bank with the PIN CODE for full ACTIVATION
As soon as we get confirmation from you the ATM CARD will be activated
and hand it over to him with the PIN CODE.
If the claim of Mr.Justin McDonald is false we will like you to
forward to us your details to us for the delivery of the ATM CARD.
NOTE: THE ATM CARD HAS YOUR APPROVED PAYMENT OF US$1.MILLION LOADED
INTO IT FOR INHERITANCE/COMPENSATION.
If you have any objection do immediate E-mail me Waiting to hear from
Mr Paul Sam.