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:
- ",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)
- "my names are " (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.
- 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: "Mr. Nii Okai Nunoo" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 7 May 2016 19:01:51 +0300
Subject: TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN!
Good day to you,
My names are Mr. Nii Okai Nunoo, Area Head of Corporate Affairs in a bank here in Ghana.
I`m contacting you in the high opinion on a business at hand that will privilege both of us
an opportunity for lifetime favor.
There is the sum of $11,500,000.00 (Eleven Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) which was unaccounted for
as a result of an overdraft from foreign contracts. I have placed this funds on in a nastro-vastro account Account
with no beneficiary. As the Auditing and Accounting Manager,it is my duty to send financial report to our Regional Head Quarters.
However, I need your honest assistance and cooperation so I can use my position in the office to channel these funds in your
name legally as beneficiary for cash payment and you take 50% as remuneration for your assistance.
If you are interested contact me only at my email with your name, Address and phone number at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Nii Okai Nunoo