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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million us 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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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 (Mail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Maurice Iwu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 13:00:29 +0300
Subject: Awaiting your urgent response.
How are you today? It’s been long I heard from you. Well, I just
want to use this medium to thank you very much for your earlier assistance
to help me in receiving the funds totaling (USD$22 MILLION), without any
positive outcome. I am obliged to inform you that I have succeeded in
receiving the funds with the help of a new partner from Germany.
Everything was perfectly done because we strike a deal with one of the
accountant who works with the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and she
rendered a tremendous help to us. My new partner initiated this idea and
everything worked out successfully.
In appreciation of your earlier assistance to me in receiving the Funds. I
have decided to compensate you with the sum of $1,000,000.00 (One Million
US Dollars) this is from my own share. I did this simply to show you that
it is good to do good things to the right people always. Presently, I am
in London for investment project with my own share under the advice of my
partner, your fund is into check so contact my secretary about that to
send it to you.
Meanwhile,I did not forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in
transferring those funds despite that it failed us somehow. I will be
sending you e-mail from time to time to know if you have received your
share or not. Now contact my personal secretary in Nigeria.
Address: No 4 Bello drive dolphins Lagos-Nigeria
Please do let me know immediately if you receive your check so that we can
share the joy together after all the sufferings at that time. at the
moment, I am very busy here in Germany because of the investment projects,
which the new partner and I are having at hand. So feel free to get in
touch with Mr. Mark Ugo and send him your needed information below to
enable him send the money to you without any delay.
Needed information’s are:
Your Full Name:....................
Your Home Address:.................
Your home phone:...................
Your Cell phone:...................
A copy of your international passport or any valid ID
With My Best Regards,