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:
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: MacKenzie Bezos Foundation Network <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 07 Sep 2019 22:37:13 +0530
Congratulations from the MacKenzie Bezos Foundation United States, where life changing opportunities and cash are given-out on a daily basis! Our foundation/founder has indeed been a great Philanthropist to this generation and is truly committed to “giving while living.
However, We are pleased to inform you that you are one (1) of the lucky person to benefit and to receive $500,000.00 USD from my MacKenzie Bezos foundation’s ongoing good will project, grant/donations program.
If this message is sent to a valid e-mail user, Then your email was randomly selected to receive a cash donation grant sum of $500,000.00 USD from the MacKenzie Bezos Foundation.
If this is a valid e-mail account, then you should Contact " Mr. Mark Kelvin " my personal assistance (PA) at his email: email@example.com to have him process your membership for comprehensive claim as my fan.
MacKenzie Bezos Foundation Network