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.
- 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ab Jalil bin Ab Kadir" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 08:38:51 -0000
My name is Ab Jalil bin Ab Kadir, I am a private business consultant for
very eminent persons in the Asian and West Africa region. They have
appointed me to source on their behalf a foreigner with whom they can
jointly entrusts reasonable amount of money, which will be channeled into
a highly lucrative business venture. I got your address through the
chamber of Commerce and industries.
They have $106 million (One hundred and six million United states
Dollars). They request strict confidentiality due to their public
nature.they prefer to be anonymous hence i have been given the mandate to
source for someone of high business experience with very good reputation.
Proposal in summary:My clients are top government officials in the Asian
and West African region they want the funds to be invested through a
well-established businessman abroad who can front for them without
disclosing their identity. You will be made the beneficiary of the funds
in order to manage these funds on their behalf and you will be awarded
20%of the total sum as your share in this deal then invest the rest for
So if truly you are interested in proceeding, Kindly indicate by sending a
response to my e-mail address: email@example.com
Ab Jalil bin Ab Kadir