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:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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: "Williams David." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 2019 15:23:03 +0800
Subject: Your $10.5 Million USD ATM Master Card Payment.???
UNITED NATIONS OFFICIAL PAYMENT UNIT.
Our Ref: UNO /UN/CTB
RELEASE CODE No: 0463
E-mail : Franklin.firstname.lastname@example.org
Your $10.5 Million USD ATM Master Card Payment.???
Please be informed that your long awaited compensation funds payment, Ten Million,Five Hundred Thousand United States D0llars has finally been approved but it has also been brought to our notice that a gentle man,Named Micheal laton has just forwarded a new bank coordinates, claiming that,he is your next of kin and that you are dead. Now, here comes the big question:
Did you authorize the above mentioned person to claim your funds?
Are you truly dead or alive? Is Michael Laton your next of kin? If no,
kindly reconfirm this information and get back to us with the below
information for verification.
Note that the only money you will ever paid is just $850 USD for the paper works, take note of that.
Current home address:
We await your urgent response so that we can proceed with your payment.