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)
- "i will like you to " (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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: "Mrs.Rosemary George" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 10:55:18 +0100
Subject: CONTACT HIM TODAY!!!
Hello my good friend,
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family?, You may not
understand why this mail came to you.But if you do not remember me, you
might have receive an email from me in the past regarding
business proposal which we never concluded.
I am using this opportunity to inform you that this multi-million-dollar
business has been concluded with the assistance of another partner from India
who financed the transaction to a logical conclusion. I thank you for
effort to our unfinished transfer of fund into your account due to one
the other best known to you.
But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund
out of my
bank to my new partner's account in India that was capable of assisting me in
this great venture.Due to your effort,sincerity,courage and trust
showed during the course of the transaction.I want to
compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of US$5,200,000.00. I
have left a certified international bank draft for you worth of
cash able anywhere in the world.
My dear friend I will like you to contact my Account Officer Mr.Edward
his direct email address at:[email@example.com]the
collection of your
bank draft. I authorized him to release the Bank Draft to you whenever you
contact him regarding for it. At the moment,I'm very busy here because of the
investment projects, which I and the new partner are having at hand.
Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is
bottom of my heart,Also comply with White's directives so that he will
send the draft to you without any delay.
CONTACT: Mr.Edward White
Account Officer, Cotonou,
His email address:[firstname.lastname@example.org]
Therefore, you should send him your full Name and telephone
mailing address where you want him to send the draft to you.
Hoping to hear from you.
Thanks & Best Regards,
Have a nice day