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:
- 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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. yao bamba" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mr. yao bamba" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 05:30:20 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Raw Gold for sale From Mr.yao bamba.
Raw Gold for sale From Mr.yao bamba.
We are into Gold business and also an authorized seller of Au Gold dust and Gold bars
exporter. We work with other handicapped Gold sellers as main source and help them to
export their gold to buyers. We have huge quantity of alluvial Gold Dust for
sale at a considerable price of $28,500USD per kilo which is below world
market price. We want only reliable and serious buyers or brokers for a long
term business relationship. If you are interested, do not hesitate to get
back to us as soon as you receive this mail so that we will send you our
full co-operate offer (FCO). Even if you are not prepared to buy our Gold
now but can get a buyer for us,we pay 7% commision per kg to Agent/Mandate
We are willing to go into a long term supply contract with interested buyer
with view to develop many mining communities and we also welcome serious
buyer for joint venture in the mining sector.
I hope to hear from you soonest.