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)
- "million 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)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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)
- bank nig plc. regional manager. alternation email: email@example.com dear friend, my names are prince egobia, i work as the (Aol; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Prince Egobia" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 05 Dec 2019 11:30:49 -0800
Subject: YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE NEEDED
Union Bank Nig Plc.
Alternation Email: email@example.com
My names are Prince Egobia, I work as the Regional Manager of Union
Bank of Nigeria Plc. With operational office at Falomo. I have
packaged a transaction that will be of mutual benefit to both of us.
I want you to help my family received and invest the sum of
USD$10.5Million dollars my late father deposited in a bank here before
his sudden death.
My mother and I want this funds to be transferred
and invested in your country through your assistance and directive, 30%
of this funds is your percentage for assisting us.
This funds transaction is 100% genuine and free risk. There is nothing
to be afraid of.
Please get back to me through this email address:
firstname.lastname@example.org , for more details
Prince Egobia Okons,