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:
- "i will give you 35% " (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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Louis Migan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:23:38 -0300 (BRT)
Subject: VERY IMPORTANT
Do accept my sincere apology if my mail does not meet your personal
Please I want you to kindly receive for me the sum of 5 Million euros
in your bank account for investment purpose.
I am interested in investing this money in your business or any one of
your choice for a period of six years under your management and
This money will be wired into your account when once you inform me you
will be my partner and all documents will be changed into your name
immediately as the beneficiary of these funds.
I apologize if this mail does not suit your personal or business
ethics. The funds are available as genuine and will be released after
you have shown proven interest in your response to this proposal.
Also let me know your Country's tax laws in relation to direct foreign
I will give you 35% from the total money of 5 Million and additional
10% profit from the dividend on any investment the money is placed upon.
After hearing from you, I will furnish you with more details on the
next step forward.
Thanks and best regards,
Mr. Louis Migan
Alternative email address email@example.com