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:
- "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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Ms. Elizabeth Azubah" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 02:02:15 -0800
Subject: From Ms. Elizabeth Azubah,
I am the same Young Lady who wrote to this your particular E-mail Address 1 Month ago and was seeking your Acceptance to receive on my behalf a Transfer of $10,500,000.00 usd which I inherited from my late Parents. Despite that you did not respond to that my E-mail those days I still went ahead and contacted Mr. Arjuna Chanda of Sri Lanka who came down to Nigeria in person and was able to perfect all that was needed by ULSTER BANK PLC, LAGOS- NIGERIA for an Immediate Wire Transfer of the Funds into his Account in Sri Lanka.
I am very proud to inform you that I am in Sri Lanka now with Mr. Arjuna Chanda. I am seeking School Admission because I want to Further up my Education while Mr. Arjuna Chanda will be Managing the Investment of the Funds here in Sri Lanka under a Written Agreement between us. Above all this Development, there was a Promise I made within myself to help the Orphanage Homes but time could not allow me to Achieve it when I was in Nigeria last Month. Because of this I wrote out a Cheque of ( $1,300,000.00 usd ) One Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars in your name. And for security reasons, I sealed the Cheque in a Thick Brown Envelope and gave it to Evangelist Batureh Aliu without disclosing the real content of the Envelope to him. I only assured him that the Person who has the Envelope will contact him any moment from now and I know he must have been expecting to hear from you.
I would like you therefore to contact Evangelist Batureh Aliu now via his private email address here ( email@example.com ) and ask him to send across the Envelope Immediate to your Address. And If you receive the Envelope take the Cheque inside it to your Bank for liquidations into a Solid Cash. I want you to use ( $1,000,000.00 usd ) One Million United States Dollars to launch a little foundation in my name at any Orphanage Home around you, and then keep the other ( $300,000.00 usd ) Three Hundred Thousand United States balance to yourself as a reward for your Participation.
Make sure you contact Evangelist Batureh Aliu now and Remember to provide him with your FULL NAME, ADDRESS AND DIRECT MOBILE NUMBER to avoid any mistake with the delivery of the Envelope to your Address. Remember also never to tell Evangelist Batureh Aliu the real content of the Envelope for security reasons and to Guarantee safely arrival of the Envelope to your Address.
Ms. Elizabeth Azubah.
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