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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "money gram" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: "$4.5Million" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2021 17:00:10 +0100
Subject: $4.5Million USD
GREETINGS DEAR CLIENT;
We received an email from one Mr. Harris Alison who presented a
telephone number with a resident address, saying that you gave him the
power of attorney to claims your ATM Card deposited in your names.
Please try and get back to us immediately before we instruct him to
pay for the required charges Of $150 and have the ATM Card delivered
to him. $4.5Million USD conveted to atm Card
Below Is The Information He Sent To Us.
Name: Mr. Harris Alison
Street 50 Marriott Driv
If you are interested kindly get us your Full information
1. Name in full.
7. Present Country.
8. Email address.
YOU ADVICE TO SEND THE FEE THROUGH RIA OR MONEY GRAM MONEY TRANSFER
BTC AMERICAN EXPRESS/ GOOGLE PLAY OR Apple cards WITH POWER OF
ATTORNEY ACCOUNT. YOU HAVE TO CONTACT THE DELIVERY SERVICE COMPANY EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
OFFICE OF ATTORNEY.