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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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:
Date: 11 Oct 2020 15:39:47 +0300
Subject: Your $3,500,000 is now ready.
UN-IMF COMPENSATION UNIT
Our Ref: IMF-UN /OGB/CTB
RELEASE CODE NO. 0747
AMOUNT: 3.5m USD
Attention: The Beneficiary Of This Fund
Please be informed that your long awaited compensation funds payment, 3.5m USD (Three Million,Five Hundred Thousand US D0llars) has been approved for you to receive but a gentleman named Micheal Layton has just forwarded a new banking information, claiming that, he is your next of kin and that you are dead. Now, here comes the big questions;
Are you truly dead or alive? Did you authorize the above mentioned person to claim your funds? Is Michael Layton your next of kin? If no to all of the above, then please reconfirm your information once again and get back to us with all necessary information below here for further verification as the fund is ready and will get to you within 48 hours from this notice:
Your Full Names:
Country You Live Now:
Please take note that you must pay $350 for official clearance papers and if you disagree to pay the necessary fee please do not reply to this notification. We await your urgent response so that the paying bank can proceed with your payment.
Joseph K. Ingram
For; IMF-UN Geneva-Switzerland.
Email To: email@example.com