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 friend" (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)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: chriseze <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Jul 2016 11:52:42 +0200
Subject: FROM Mr; Chris Eze,\\\\Date: Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 10:17 AM
Date: Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 10:17 AM
You may not understand why this email came to you. But if you do not
remember me, you might have receive an email from me in the past
regarding business proposal which we never concluded.
I want to use this opportunity to thank you very much for your past
to assist me with this transaction which failed due to one reason or
other. And also to inform you that the transaction has been concluded
the assistance of another partner from Thailand who financed the
transaction to a logical conclusion.
Due to your past effort, sincerity, and trust you showed during the
of the transaction. I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to
you with the sum of 2,500, 000 dollars as a sign of appreciation.
I have left a certified international bank draft for you worth of
2,500,000.00 cash able anywhere in the world. I would like you to
secretary Mr. Foxton Richard, on his direct email address at: (
firstname.lastname@example.org ) for the
collection of the bank draft. I authorized him to release the Bank
you whenever you contact him.
At this moment, I'm very busy because of the investment projects and
charity organization which I want to run with my new partner.
CONTACT: Mr. Foxton Richard, My Secretary, and forward to him your full
name, Postal address and your telephone number to open contact with
His email address :( email@example.com )
Mr; Chris Eze