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:
- "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)
- "hundred thousand u.s 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)
- "visa application" (For real work or immigration visas you will always be dealing with the foreign embassy, high commission or consulate in your country, not directly with the authorities in the country you are trying to move to. If you are being asked to send money to someone outside of your country, then it's a scam. Real visas fees are always payable to the foreign embassy or consulate in your country. Embassies or immigration officials will never use a free webmail address or demand payment by Western Union or to a bank account that is not in the name of the embassy. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Christopher Dauda" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 11:00:57 -0700
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL FOR YOU
My name is Christopher Dauda, I am the former Secretary to Imo State governor in Nigeria. I contact you for an assistance to invest in your country. I need you to act as business partner and friend that will receive the Sum of five million United States Dollars for re-investment purpose to boost more income for me in your country.
Secondly, i would like you to assist me facilitate my visa application and get me a rented apartment close to your house. You will own Six hundred thousand U.S Dollars as reward out of the whole fund.
Get back to me if you are interested.