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:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Law.Stephen Shabangu" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:49:03 -0700
Good Morning, I am Lawyer Stephen Shabangu. I need your consent in the
Transaction of $4.8 million United States Dollars in the codicil and
last testament of a deceased who happens to be my client. He also bears
the same last name with you, Probably maybe your Cousin or close
relative. He is also from your country. I want to present you to his
bank as his next of kin so that the bank will transfer the $4.8 million
United States Dollars to your account in your country. Your urgent
response is highly needed in this Transaction before the Government will
Take over it.
According to my research you may be his Cousin or Close Relatives. The
IMF is about to Start their Annual Audition and they May Confiscate This
Fund if they Noticed that the Account have is no longer Active That is
Why I contacted you. I'll give further clarification on the subject once
I get your response.