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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: J S Kofi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2020 06:55:19 -0600
Subject: Hello my good friend.
Hello my good friend,
Hope all is well with you and your family? You may not understand why
I email you again, but if you do not remember me, you might have
received an email from me in the past regarding a multi-million-dollar
business proposal which we never concluded. I am using this
opportunity to inform you that the multi-million-dollar business
proposal has been concluded with the assistance of another partner
from France who financed the transaction to a logical conclusion. I
thank you for your great efforts on our unfinished transfer of funds
into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you.
Please be informed that I have successfully transferred the fund to my
new partner's company account in France that was capable of assisting
me in this great venture.
Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness you showed
during the course of the transaction I and my colleague agreed to
compensate you to show my gratitude to you and to offset the
percentage you were promised in the business proposal. My dear friend,
I have left an ATM Master Card package for you worth Five Hundred
Thousand United States Dollars (USD500,000.00) with access PIN Number
(2154). Kindly contact my account officer on her direct email address
(email@example.com) for the collection of your ATM Master Card I
left for you, her names are: Mrs. Angela Nestor, I authorized her to
release the Card package to you whenever you made contact to her for
the collection. At the moment, I'm very busy with my partner in Paris
France because of the investment project which we are having at hand.
Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is
from the bottom of my heart and also comply with Mrs. Angela's
directives so that your package can reach you quickly. Please note her
contact details below:
Name: Mrs. Angela Nestor
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that I did not include the Card access Pin Code in the
package for security purposes, so the access Pin code is 2154, once
you receive the card you can have instant access to withdraw funds,
pay bills, transfer, purchase and do many more with your Card, the
maximum amount you can use per day is 5,500 US Dollars. Please note
that I also left an International Certified Bank Draft on the same
amount (500,000.00 US Dollars) which I included in your package that
you will be receiving from Angela, the draft is cash-able at any bank
worldwide, so you can use the ATM Card or you cash out the money via
the Bank draft.
Wishing you a merry christmas and a much happier 2021
J. Williams Kofi.