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:
- ",000,000" (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. CHO SUNG" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2020 07:47:42 +0530
Subject: CHARITY WORK IN YOUR COMMUNITY
CHARITY WORK IN YOUR COMMUNITY
There is a charity project for your community in which you are being invited to take charge of its execution. Although this may be a little outside of your core professional area of expertise, however, it is noteworthy that you are good at strategic planning in finding solutions to issues of importance, making you worthy of the intended partnership in a Charity Project for your community. The amount earmarked for the project is US$15,000,000 and I will furnish you with further information as soon as you respond to this email that you can use funds wisely for charity projects. I wait to hear from you soon for us to Proceed.