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)
- "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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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)
Fraud email example:
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 15:47:28 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Dear Friend,
I'm happy to inform
you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the co-operation
of a new partiner from paraguay.Presently i'm in Japan 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 transffering those funds despite that it failed us
Now contact my
secretary in Cotonou Benin Republic his name is Mr, PAUL ORJI his
Email email@example.com) ask him to send you the
total $800,000.00 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 in touched with my
secretary Mr, PAUL, and instructed him where to send the amount to
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
partiner are having athand, finally, remember that i had forwarded instruction
to the secretary on your behalf,so feel free to contact him now to eneble him
send your money to you without any delay.