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: "Mrs. Jennifer Falana" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Jennifer Falana" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2014 16:11:18 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: My Dear Friend
Â My 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. While 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
ultimately 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 Cashier's Bank Draft, to the tune of
US$10,000,000.00 (Ten Million United States Dollars) in your name as
COMPENSATION for your dedication and humane contribution as it were. I
will be very busy here at the moment because of the investment projects
that me and my new partners are having at hand. The bank draft is under
Dr.patrick nwaelu care ,Do not also accept any fax or telephone calls that
do not come from Dr. patrick. 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 I
really appreciated your tremendous effort and contribution made to make
things work out but which we couldn't complete due to circumstances beyond
In view of this, you are to contact Dr.patrick in the person of . Find
below his contact:
Contact person: Dr.patrick Nwaelu
Contact Phone number:+2348034947707
Note: He is waiting to hear from you so that he can ship the ICBD to your
residence/office address as you may instruct him to, BE WARNED ABOUT
Take note and bear in mind that the International Cashier Bank Draft has a
validity period of 30 banking days, as such it is expedient you contact
him and thus have modality put in place to conclude this arrangement in
the earliest possible time.
Mrs. Jennifer Falana