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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Frank" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2016 22:44:11 +0800
Subject: From Mr.Frank E..
Attn: Dear Sir/madam,
Good day to you my dear friend, I request for your collaboration and partnership to enable us executes a very lucrative and highly profitable business transaction, it is an important supply business of an animal vaccine product, this supply business shall profit us meaningfully. This is a good business venture which require we furnish yearly huge quantity of animal vaccine to a wealthy client who has a very large agricultural & farming company, we can purchase this product from a pharmaceutical company at a lower price and selling at a higher good price which shall leave us with considerable profit. As a matter of fact we shall be making twice the price of purchase. The interesting advantage is that the client is in a position to make a down payment for his order, as i intimated them that this is the company rules. Now we can comfortable execute this business with the down payment we shall receive from buying company. If you are interested, please get back to me for more detail, I shall be expecting your quick reply. Thanks.