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:
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- lieutenant ms. esther d. brown. e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org e-mails for hangout: email@example.com (Aol; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Esther D. BROWN" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2021 17:43:26 -0800
Subject: Dear Beloved , Compliments of the day,
Greetings from Tripoli, Sartre of Libya,
I'm Lieutenant Ms. Esther D. BROWN (PhD) from Fort Bragg, NC 28310
USA. And I work with the U.S Fort Bragg Battalion Squad herein
Tripoli, Sartre of Libya.
I write to seek your friendly permission to manage an investment funds
deposit of ($24,000.000.00) Twenty-four Million United States Dollars
for me in the United States or in your country of resident.
Can you receive these funds and help me to invest them in any fast
growing business venture of your expertise profession? I wait upon
your reply to my e-mail address below;
Thanks in anticipation,
Lieutenant Ms. Esther D. BROWN.
E-mail : email@example.com
E-mails for Hangout: firstname.lastname@example.org