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)
- ",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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev.Thomas Duru" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2014 15:07:20 -0700
Dear Friend ,
I am happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the co-operation of a new partner from Paraguay.
Although you might find it difficult to remember me, since it has indeed been a very long time.
However, I am much elated and privileged to contact you again after this long time. It takes faith and courage to remember old friends and at the same time, to show gratitude to them in-spite of circumstances that may have disrupted our transaction not to work out as we projected.
Nevertheless, I take this liberty to inform you that, the transaction we were pursuing then together, finally worked out by the infinite mercy of GOD Almighty and I've decided to contact you, just to let you know the present situation.
I must inform you also that I am presently in Paraguay for business negotiations and establishment, and, with a sincere heart, I have raised and signed an International Bank Draft, to the tune of US$5,000,000.00 (Five Million United States Dollars) in your name as COMPENSATION for your dedication and contribution as it were.
I will be very busy here at the moment because of the projects my new partners and i are having at hand. The bank draft is under Ben Mark care. He is the only person I instructed and directed on how to deliver the draft to you.
Therefore, I implore you to contact him immediately you read this message for further information on how to receive your draft, for I have conscience as a human being, and really appreciated your tremendous effort and contribution made to make things work out but which we couldn't complete due to circumstances beyond our control. In view of this, you are to contact: Ben Mark via below contact with your full name, Residential address, your direct phone number.
CONTACT PERSON: Ben Mark
PHONE NUMBER: +234-802-441-0169
Note: He is waiting to hear from you so that he can ship the International Bank Draft to
Your residence/office address as you may instruct him to, Take note and bear it in mind that the International Bank Draft has a Validity period of 30 banking days, as such it is expected you contact him now.
Rev. Thomas Duru
Tel: 01579 342082
Fax: 01579 342591
Order Line Only :0800 373 515 Service Calls: 0800 917 8274
Drinkmaster Limited is a private limited company registered in England & Wales.
The Company Registration number is 2715504. The registered office is at
27 Broad Street, Wokingham, Berkshire RG40 1AU. The Company is owned by Snacktime PLC.