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:
- "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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Jeff Howard" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2018 03:03:23 +0100
Subject: Contact My Secretary For Your Pending Check
My Dear Friend,
I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from China.
Presently I'm in China for investment projects with my own share of the total sum. meanwhile, I didn't 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 name is Mrs.Amelie Adison on Phone No: +234-90-2395-2357 and you can also email her at (email@example.com) ask her to send you a check of $2.500.00 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 Amelie Adison and instruct her where to send the amount to you.Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy after all the sufferings at that point in time, I am very busy here because of the investment projects which I and my new partner are having at hand, finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to the secretary on your behalf to receive that money, so feel free to get in touch with her she will send the Check to you without any delay.
With best regards,