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)
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Jennifer Falana" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 19:21:01 -0000
Subject: HAPPY NEW YEAR
My Dear Friend,
I am happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds
transferred under the
co-operation of a new partner from Paraguay.
Although you might find it difficult to remember me, since it has indeed
been a very long time. However, I am much elated and privileged to contact you again after
this long time. While it takes faith and courage to remember old friends and at the
same time,to show gratitude to them in-spite of circumstances that may have
disrupted our transaction ultimately not to work out as we projected. Nevertheless, I
take this liberty to inform you that, the transaction we were pursuing then
together, finally worked out by the infinite mercy of GOD Almighty and I've decided to
contact you, just to let you know the present situation.
I must inform you also that I am presently in Paraguay for business
negotiations and establishment, and, with a sincere heart, I have raised and signed an
International Cashier's Bank Draft, to the tune of US$10,000,000.00 (Ten Million United
States Dollars) in your name as COMPENSATION for your dedication and humane
contribution as it were. I will be very busy here at the moment because of the investment
projects that me and my new partners are having at hand. The bank draft is under
Dr.patrick nwaelu care ,Do not also accept any fax or telephone calls that do not
come from Dr.patrick. He is the only person I instructed and directed on how to deliver
the draft to you. Therefore, I implore you to contact him immediately you read this
message for further information on how to receive your draft, for I have conscience as
a human being, and I really appreciated your tremendous effort and contribution
made to make things work out but which we couldn't complete due to circumstances beyond
In view of this, you are to contact Dr.patrick in the person of . Find
below his contact.
Contact person: Dr.patrick Nwaelu
Contact Phone number:+2347084748750
Note: He is waiting to hear from you so that he can ship the ICBD to your
residence/office address as you may instruct him to, BE WARNED ABOUT
Take note and bear in mind that the International Cashier Bank Draft has a
validity period of 30 banking days, as such it is expedient you contact him and
thus have modality put in place to conclude this arrangement in the earliest
Mrs. Jennifer Falana.