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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: Douglas terry <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Douglas terry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2014 00:04:45 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: GOOD NEWS
Dear Friend,Â Compliments of the season and God's blessings from Stephen Carl, I am the one who contacted you long time ago for an Inheritance claims.However I am very happy to inform you about my success in getting those fund transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from the United Emirate,Presently i'm in Dubai for an investment projects.Â Therefore Â you should Â contact my secretary Â in Cotonou Benin Republic with Â the following information,Name Douglas Terry, Email: (email@example.com Â ) Direct Cell Phone +229-688-224-56 Do ask him to send you the Cashier's Cheque,sum of ($50.5 Million Usd) fivety Â Million Â Five Hundred Thousand Dollars , which I kept for your compensation,however he will attend to you without delay.Â Furthermore you should also re-confirm the following information to mysecretary,to avoid wrong delivery.Â 1 Your Full Name2 Your Mailing Address3 Private Phone/NumÂ ThanksStephen Carl Â Your $50.5 Million Usd Compensation. Â