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: "Mr. Antony J. Blinken " <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2021 03:38:41 -0700
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,
$4.3Million is your compensation Funds
I Am resending it to inform you again that your E-mail address appeared in
the payment list of
beneficiaries who are yet to receive their compensation payment from last
year to this 2021.
Email Mr. Felix Daniel, to claim your $4.3Million donation,
The Assistant Manager United Bank,
Office Email: ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
This message is for the named person's use only. It may contain
confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information. No
privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission. If you receive
this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies
of it from your
system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You
must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print,
or copy any part
of this message if you are not the intended recipient. This
organization and any of its subsidiaries each reserve the right to
monitor all e-mail
communications through its networks.
Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual
sender, except where the message states otherwise and the sender is
authorized to state them to be the views of any such entity.
Yours in Service,
Mr. Antony J. Blinken U.S. Secretary of State.