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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Johnson Juwell Esq." <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Barrister Johnson Juwell Esq." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:23:54 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: MY SINCERE APPRECIATION
Â MY SINCERE APPRECIATION
I know that this mail will come to you as a surprise owing to the fact that you may not remember me. I contacted you sometimes in the past concerning a funds transfer which for some reasons I didn't conclude with you. I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from Trinidad and Tobago. Presently I'm in Trinidad and Tobago for investment projects with my own share of the total sum. Meanwhile, I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us some how.
Now contact my secretary in Benin Republic, his name is Thomas Clarke on email@example.com and ask him to send to you the total of $2,500,000.00 which I kept for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter in the past. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much. So feel free and get in touch with my secretary Mr. Thomas Clarke and instruct him where to send the amount to you.
Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy after all the sufferings at that time. In the moment, Iâm very busy here because of the investment projects which me and the new partner are having at hand.
Finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to the secretary on your behalf to receive that money, so feel free to get in touch with Mr. Thomas Clarke, he will send the amount to you without any delay.
Barrister Johnson Juwell Esq.