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)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "united state of america" (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: Mrs Mary Fernandez <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2020 19:46:39 -0300
Subject: Unfinished Business
How are you today? Itís been a while you will agree with me. How is the family and work in general? Mine has been good I give God the glory. I have been able to conclude the transaction with the help of a brother. I wish to thank you for your effort during the course of our interaction even though you didnít have the patience to see it mature I still appreciate your input. To this end I have decided to show some gratitude.
I have left a Bank ATM CARD worth $1,300,000 (One Million Three Hundred Thousand United State of America Dollars) Cashable on any ATM Machine any where in the World. I will like you to contact my secretary, Mr.Jonathan Gabel and comply with him so that he will make the Bank ATM CARD available to you . At the moment, I'm very busy here in Turkey and trying my hands on some investments. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.
CONTACT: Mr.Jonathan Gabel
Donít forget to send him your FULL NAME,AGE,OCCUPATION,MARITAL STATUS TELEPHONE NUMBER and CONTACT ADDRESS for his reference and make arrangement with him on how you want to receive the BANK ATM CARD.
Thanks and Stay in tune.
Mrs. Mary Fernandez