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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i have a new email address!" (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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.
- +22997046911 (Benin, probably a 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 14:47:18 -0800 (PST)
Subject: My Dear Friend,
I have a new email address!You can now email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- My Dear Friend, I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transffered under the coopersation of a new partner from paraguay. Presently i'm in paraguay for investment projects with my own share of the total sum.meanwhile,i didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assit me in transffering those funds despite that it failed us some how.Now contact my secretary in Benin republic his name is Mr.John Harry His email address:(email@example.com)Tel +229-9704-6911 Ask him to send you the total $950,000.00 certified bank draft which i raised in your favour 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 intouched with my secretary Dr, Godwin Francis and give him your address where to send the draft to you.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'm !
very busy here because of the investment projects which me and the new partner are havingathand,finally,remember that i had forwarded instruction to the secretary on your behalf to receive that money,so feel free to get intouch with Mr.John Harry without any delay Best Regards,Barr,Bruce Anthony