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 beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MISS. ELIZABETH NELSON" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2016 07:55:21 +0900
Subject: CONTACT REV. FATHER GODWIN RAYMOND
My dear i believe that you have not forgotten me, although it was indeed a very long time we communicate last. Well, this is to thank you for your past effort to assist me in moving out my late Father's funds out the country a that time, I understand your thought that time, that I wasn$B!G(Bt for real and you said that I am a scam but I told you that am not a scam and you understood me and did your best to assist me but could not conclude the transaction with me. I thank God for his grace and favor upon my life because there was a man called Hagen Bengt from Denmark who finally helped me to move the money to his account so our government did not seize my father`s money any more.
I did not believe that I will move out from Benin by now, but God has made it possible for me. So I am happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under my new partner from Copenhagen Denmark, I am currently in the Copenhagen for my studies here in the Denmark, Meanwhile, I did not forget all your past efforts and attempts to assist me that time in transferring those funds despite that it failed us some how due to one reason or the other. But because i made a promise to God that i must surely compensate you as the first person who tried all your best to help me despite that you did not conclude the transaction but i could not forget your good advise and encouragement which gave me at that time.
Now i want you to contact our parish priest: Reverend Fr. Godwin Raymond who used to be a good father to me when I was in UN refugee Camp in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, I told him to send a certified bank check of (US$2,000,000.00) Two million United State dollars, which I prepared for you and kept for your compensation for all efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter,knowing fully well that i would have not succeeded if not your advise and encouragement to me at that time. Please accept this little token as it is. So feel free to contact Rev. Father through his email address(email@example.com)and instruct him where to send you the bank draft check, you can also call him through his telephone number .+229 9924 8521
Note: Below is the required information's you will send to Rev. Father Godwin Raymond
Your full names:..............................
Your house address:.......................
Your telephone number:..................
Your copy of ID eg Driving licenses
Please let me know immediately you receive it so we can share our joy together after all the sufferings at that time. At this point, I$B!G(Bm very busy here because of my investment and some project that we have at hand. Finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to the Rev. Father Godwin Raymond on your behalf to receive that check but you have to reconfirm it again to avoid any mistake. So do not hesitate to contact him and he will send the amount to you without any delay.
And please do not forget to inform me as soon as you received the cashier check.
Take care and God bless you. Good bye for now
Miss. Elizabeth Nelson.