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:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Eric Brown <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2019 14:33:05 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: RELEASE OF YOUR ATM CARD AS INSTRUCTED BY THE FBI.
In a recent meeting held last Month with the newly FBI Director concerning your over due Payment, this is to inform you that they agreed to release your ATM CARD worth of ($5 Million United State Dollars) which will come via ATM CARD as instructed from our headquarter by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
This is to inform you that I was sent to West Africa, to personally handle the delivery of your ATM CARD, without any more delay.
You are advised to resend below information as to enable the delivery of your Card gets to you:
1. Your New House Address:
2. Cell Phone Number:
3. Any of Your ID Card.
Underneath is the contact information of appointed dispatch person whom you are to forward the above requested details:
Contact Person: Mr.Berry Don.
Once we receive this information, we will proceed without delay.
Mr. Eric Brown.