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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Joseph Townsend" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2020 05:31:47 -0700
Subject: You are selected to benefit !!
This notification is from Lisa and John Robinson Legal representative and you are to benefit from the above mentioned family charity project aimed at touching lives and helping those in need across the world as God has blessed them.
This donation of $4M(Four Million United States Dollar) is made out to you and mostly to generously help Lisa and Robinson extend hands of giving to the less privileged, orphans and charity organizations within your locality.
Lisa and John Robinson won the Powerball Jackpot of $528M on January 15, 2016 and voluntarily decided to donate the sum of $90M to charity.
All participants were selected randomly through email address extracted from over 100,000 unions, associations, and corporate bodies .
Should you wish to verify, below are links to that effect.
Kindly forward your Message of Acceptance to : email@example.com
Lisa and John Robinson Legal Representative