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:
- "million united states dollars" (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: ALEX CODE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2020 18:59:30 +0100
Subject: ALEX CODE 555
Good day to you,
I represent a high net-worth investor who is seeking investment
opportunities away from his native country.
He needs an experience individual or company that can profitably invest
about (Fifty to Hundred Million United States Dollars) in trust for the
period of 15 years or less.
Whatever you have passed through in the past will be taken care of. I
know the corona virus is crazy but our investment will be perfectly
Respond to this email, I will give you more details about me and about
the investment as well.
Kindly forward your details for further discussion.
MR. ALEX CODE.