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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Thomas Cook" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 02 Jun 2020 15:18:04 +0200
Subject: Re: Grant Approved!!!!!
This past few months hasn=2019t been good for businesses, institutions and=
individuals around the globe. The Global Epidemic (Covid-19) has drained e=
veryone financially and you weren=2019t exempted. Your cry for help has bee=
n heard and we are willing to offer our kind gesture to you. You are among =
the 3rd Batch to benefit from our Fund Program and I must sincerely say the=
1st & 2nd Batch is grateful for the help which we rendered. You have succe=
ssfully being granted the cumulative total sum of ($100,000.00 USD) as a co=
mmunity donation from Oxfam Aid, reply back for more information and direct=
ions on how to claim your Grant.
Do remember stay safe and practice social distancing at all times. Always =
adhere to the instructions of the local authorities.
Mr. Thomas Cook,
Supervisor (Oxfam Financial Department)
Oxfam International Inc.