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)
- ",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)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Central Bank of Nigeria" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2014 10:23:40 +0100
Subject: Your Compensation For Your Past Effort
Hope this mail fined you in an excellent condition of
health.I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting
those funds transferred
under the co-operation of a new partner from
Paraguay.Presently I'm in South Korea for investment
projects with my own share of the total sum.Meanwhile I
didn't forget you're past efforts and attempts to assist me
in transferring those funds despite that it failed us some
how.Now contact my secretary in Nigeria his name is REV MARK
AFAM and email address is (email@example.com ) or
call him on this+2347082415746 ask him to send you the total
$ 1,000,000 which I kept for yourcompensation for all your
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 touch with my personal secretary REV MARK
AFAM.And instruct him where to send the amount to you.I am
compensating due to the fact that your information which you
sent to me during the transaction is what I used to pulled
this fund, my partner from Paraguay onl financial the
transaction.Again,I am compensating you incase if the bank
contact you to make an inquires if you have received the
transferred fund of ($25.7 millions) into your account.Pls
inform the bank that you have received it.Why is the major
reason I am compensating you.Please do let me know
immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy
after all the sufferings at that time.I'm very busy here
because of the investment projects which me and the new
partner are having at hand,Finally, remember that I had
forwarded instruction to My secretary on your behalf to
receive those moneys feel free to get in touch with REV MARK
AFAM him will send the amount to you without any delay.
With best Regards
Dr. John Tony