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:
- "hundred thousand 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "AGENT MACLEOD" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 23 Nov 2019 16:23:48 -0800
Subject: "GENUINE IMFORMATION ON YOUR GRANT"
*This message was transferred with a trial version of CommuniGate(r) Pro*
Head of Operations finical services, world bank
Miami International 2100 NW 42nd Ave, Miami,
FL 33126, United States,
Text or call:(+1) 949-630-0901
NOTE: If you received this message in your SPAM/JUNK folder,
That would have been caused by the restrictions implemented by your Internet
Service Provider, I, AGENT MACLEOD urge you to treat this mail with top priority.
My name is Ronald MacLeod; I am the head Operations finical services at the Central Bank/World Bank in charge of the ongoing assistance grant program.
This mail has been sent to you to make you aware that, your compensation payment of three million seven hundred thousand united state dollars ($3.7, 000,000) has been on transit with our bank with no claim from you or your next of kin.
For further enquiries on how claims could be made, do contact me on my email; email@example.com as soon as possible for more details.
For: Central Bank/world bank