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)
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. SHOLA JAMES" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 04:47:12 -0600
Subject: My Dear friend, I have something for you, (reply needed)
From: Dr. Thomas Coleman
How are you doing. Hope you have not forgotten me I am Dr. Thomas Coleman the man from Nigeria who contacted you sometime ago to assist me secure the release of some money accrued from the over invoicing of a contract/inheritance that was awarded by my government some time ago during the past regime.
Though you were not able to assist me conclude the transaction I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the assistance and cooperation of a new partner from Brazil.Presently I am in London-United Kingdom 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 I made sure you are not left out the benefit of the transaction hence I kept aside for you sum of One Million United States Dollars ($1,000,000.00 dollars) Draft.I and my new partner agreed to compensate you with that amount for all your 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 touch with my secretary MR. SHOLA JAMES and instruct him on how to send the Bank draft to you.
Please do let me know immediately you receive the Draft so that we can share the joy together after all the sufferings at that time. In the moment I am very busy here because of the investment projects which me and my partner are having at hand finally remember that i had left instruction to my secretary so as soon as you contact him he will send the Draft to you so feel free to get in-touch with MY SECRETARY NOW.
Below is the contact of my secretary: MR. SHOLA JAMES
With Best Regards
Dr. Thomas Coleman