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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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: "Roy Hanks." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2019 22:04:07 -0700
Subject: RE: URGENT UPDATE
I have deal of Sixty Eight Million Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only.($68.8M) in my department and I need a trust worthy person overseas who will help me to receive the money in 60% for me and 40% for you but all the Whole money will be held by you on trust pending when i will come with my family to invest my share of the money.
If you are interested send down the following personal details to me.
And as soon i hear from you we will proceed but you are advised to keep every thing regards to this business very confidential to ensure successful conclusion.
(1) Full names:........................ . .......
(2) Occupation:................... ...............
(3) Age and Sex: ..........................
(4) Marital Status:....................... . .
(5)Private mobile phone and fax numbers in any:...................
(6) Current residential address:..............
(7)Valid Passport:..................... . ..................
I am waiting for your urgent reply so that we will starts immediately on how the fund will move to you in your country through diplomatic means. Please confirm the receipt of this vital message.
URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED
NOTE: AS SOON AS I HEAR FROM YOU I WILL PACKAGE THE WHOLE MONEY IN TO BANK SAFE BOXES SEALED AND DELIVER TO YOU IN YOUR COUNTRY ON A SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT BUT YOU MUST KEEP EVERYTHING REGARDS TO THE DEAL VERY SECRET TO ENSURE SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION. AM WAITING FOR YOUR RESPONSE