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:
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Margaret Igwe" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 12 May 2012 22:54:24 -0700
How are you doing. Hope you have not forgotten me, I am Mrs. Margaret Igwe, the woman from Africa who contacted you some time 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 sometime ago during the military regime in my country.
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'm in South Korea for investment with my own share of the total sum.
Meanwhile, i didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me transferring those funds, I make sure you are not left out the benefit of the transaction, hence I set aside for you sum of Four Million United State Dollar($4,000,000.00).
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.
So feel free and get in touch with my Account Officer Mr.Simon Dike, there Nigeria, i instructed 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 suffering at that time.
At the moment,I'm very busy here because of the projects which my partner and I are have on hand.
Below is the contact of my Account Officer with the below info:
Direct Number:+234-802 249 3092
With best regards,
Mrs. Margaret Igwe