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:
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Timothy Emery" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2020 17:34:53 +0100
Subject: Notification For Release Of US$3.5M.
Notification For Release Of US$3.5M.
This letter is written to you in order to change your life from today. I am Dr. Timothy Emery, the Head of Finance & Operations department. My boss Mr. Edward Carlos, the MD/CEO is now on compulsory leave and all power has been vested on me to direct all international payment. Furthermore due to allegations of corrupt practices against some Banks, the Government has appointed this Bank to effect all foreign overdue payment.
Be informed that the Approved fund is the sum of US$3.5M which has been for many years UNCLAIMED, my boss have refuse to tell you the truth on how to claim your fund. This is because he has been using the interest accumulated from your fund every year to enrich himselve without your knowledge. I want to help you PULL OUT this fund to your Bank Account today using the easiest and quickest method which has not been known to you before. By this method a Domiciliary Online Account will be opened for you.
If you have receive this email, please kindly acknowledge back to process your transaction immediately. Contact E-mail: email@example.com
Dr. Timothy Emery.