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)
- "cheque " (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. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Dr.Malik Ali <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 18:02:04 +0000
Subject: GOOD NEWS
It is my pleasure to reach you after our unsuccessful attempt on our business transaction,I am obliged to inform you that I have succeeded in receiving the funds with the help of a new partner from Paraguay Mr Fernando Alvaro Gomez, Everything was perfectly done because we strike a deal with one of the Lady Accountant who works with the Ghana Ministry of Finance (G.M.F)in Accra Ghana.
I have decided to compensate you with the sum of $770,000,00. Seven Hundred and Seventy Thousand United States Dollars in a Cashier's cheque.This is from my own share I did this simply to show appreciation to you for your kind support.
Presently I am in Paraguay for investment project with my own share under the advice of my new partner. I will be sending you e-mail from time to time to know if you have received your own share or not In the light of the above you are therefore to contact my Secretary, Mr. john okafor in Accra Ghana and do send him your name,phone number and your contact address where you want your cheque to be sent to you, His e-mail address is: email@example.com
Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy together after all the suffering at that time In the moment I am very busy here in Asuncion the capital city of Paraguay because of the investment projects which the new partner and I are having at hand So feel free to get in touch with him to send your cheque to you without any delay.
With My Best Regards,
Dr. Malik Ali