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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +2348077766479 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- is: name: mr. chris mba phone: +234-8077766479 email: email@example.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org ask him to send you the (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Lambert Mann"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 01:12:03 +0100
Subject: YOUR COMPENSATION
My Dear Friend,
I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting the fund transferred to a Swiss Account with the cooperation of a new partner from Paraguay who is an international businessman. Presently I'm in London United Kingdom for investment projects with my own share of the total sum. Meanwhile, I did not forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us some how.
Now contact my secretary, his contact is:
Name: Mr. Chris Mba
Ask him to send you the International Bank Draft of total sum of $850.000.00 (Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars) which I kept for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much. So feel free and get in touched with my secretary, Mr. Chris Mba and instruct him where to send the amount to you. Kindly reconfirm your address to him and do provide him with the delivery fees of $200 only to enable him send you the check immediately without delay as I forgot to drop the dispatch cost with him before my trip. Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy after all the sufferness at that time. In the moment, I am very busy here because of the investment projects which me and my new partner are having at hand.
Finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to my secretary on your behalf to receive that money, so feel free to get in touch with Mr. Chris Mba and he will send the amount to you without any delay.
Dr. Lambert Mann