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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. J. Ward" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 06 Oct 2020 08:33:39 -0700
Subject: YOU HAVE WON
Good day, and I hope you are safe from this pandemic troubling the world.
I work with an online lotto company as the lotto machine coordinator and the lotto supervisor.
I have discovered a way to fix the winning number with the lotto machine to make any person win the lotto jackpot of US$15.4 million.
I will send you the winning lotto numbers to play the game, and also send you the ticket to play.
You will not spend your money to play the game, and all I need is your trust that you will keep my share of the winning safe. We shall share the winning 50/50%.
I contacted you because we are not related and you are not my known friend, no one will suspect me if you win the jackpot price, because itâs an online game and you are from another country far from mine.
Itâs not illegal or a crime, itâs a free game for all and you play just like every other player that plays the lottery and wins.
If you are interested, please mail me back for more detailed information.
Please I hope I can trust you to keep my share of the winning safe and also handle my conversations with you confidentially?
The Lottery draw comes up every Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays.
Mr. J. Ward