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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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: Linda <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2020 13:49:55 -0700
Subject: Stay safe, pick up your check.
How are you today?,
I hope you and your family are staying safe from corona virus?, I'm using this opportunity to thank you for your great effort to my unfinished transfer of funds into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you. I want to inform you that I have successfully transfer the funds into someone else account who was capable of assisting me in this great venture.
Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed at the course of the transaction, I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $600,000.00. Though I'm not oblivious of the fact that you did your best in the context, although, it seems that element of doubt crept in, You were not to be blame, as there were too many circumstance that would reflect such skepticism to any reasonable being.
I have authorized my new lawyer who is now also my legal adviser to issue you international certified bank check Cash able at your bank. My dear I will like you to contact the lawyer for the collection of this international certified bank check.
The name and contact email address of attorney is as follows below:
Name: Attorney Emma Philips.
Email Address: email@example.com
Kindly accept this token with good faith because this is from the bottom of my heart.
Stay Safe from covid-19 virus (Corona Virus).