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:
- "million 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)
- "you will be entitled to 30%" (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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "David Omonibeke" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2016 07:24:21 -0400 (CDT)
Subject: @ Hello Dear Let Us Partner!
I am contacting you to assist me in a claim of over invoice contract of
USD$29 Million Dollars awarded to a foreign contractors and has full paid
living USD$29 Million Dollars Dollars as my own shear for helping them to
securing the contract.
It is a genuine transaction and we MUST remain fiduciary in all our
dealings as i cannot achieve the opportunity without the support of a
foreigner. You will be entitled to 30% of the total sum while 67% will be
for me and to partner with you for investment in your country,and the 3%
will be for donation to charitable home please reply to me if you are
interested so as to enable me provide you with more details. You may want
to ask why i want to do this, because today if you are following the
Nigerian news well you will understand that insurgency is rebellious
against a constituted authority that is killing people and destabilizing
the present Government,hence l have decided to contact you for transfer
of this fund so as to enable me leave this country alive as i am about to
retied from office. Please get back to me for more details.
My Private email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Kindly reply with your
private phone number and your full name. You are also advice to keep this
transaction confidential to your self.
Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.