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:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Citizens Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 17 May 2020 13:44:09 +1300
Subject: OUTSTANDING FUNDS
You have been shortlisted to Receive US$13,600,000 due to the recent
Economic calamity that befalls the world stock market, this Fund is
meant to help people to get of standard and help the world Economic
You have to contact now for your Online Bank account information with this information below:
1. Full Names:
3. Phone Number:
5. ID Card or Photo passport:
Let me repeat again, try to contact me immediately you receive this
mail to avoid any further delay and remember to funish us with the
needed information above.
Email Address: email@example.com
WhatsApp/ text messages /call: +1 (401) 405-4263