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.
- 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: "Federal Criminal Police Office" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2019 03:36:50 -0800
Subject: READ AND RESPOND URGENTLY
FEDERAL CRIMINAL POLICE OFFICE
BRONNERSTR. 23 60313
This is to Inform you that ATM Card Number: (6821813014690822) worth 1.9M =
Euros has been approved in your favor by the Germany Government as Funds Co=
mpensation. Contact Mr. Herbert Ehrhardt on (email@example.com) wi=
th the information below.
1. Your Full Names.
2. Your Phone Number.
3. Your Home Address.
4. Your Age & Sex.
5. Your Occupation and Job Title.
Finally note that you are receiving this email message as a result of the =
Germany Government including your name among the list of beneficiaries for =
the above fund, do respond with the above directive immediately in order to=
successfully receive your compensation amount in full within a timely peri=