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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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 Nana Kwesi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2016 11:46:51 +0100
Subject: Re: WE NEED A SERIOUS BUYER
Good day to you and thank you for your interest in buying Gold Dust and
bars from us. We are small scale mining company in Ghana. We have a
capacity to produce between 50-250kgs of Alluvial Gold dust We have now
approximately 145kgs ready for sale.We need a very serious buyer
PRODUCT - ALLUVIAL DUST
QUANTITY - 145 KILOGRAMS
QUALITY - 22 CARATS+
PRICE - $30,000 A KILO
ORIGIN - GHANA WEST AFRICA
PURITY - 92.92%
SHIPMENT: The shipment will be carried out by a freight and forwarding
Agent based here in Accra.
If you can as well get me buyer for my gold , i will pay you commission for
this, just get us a serious buyer. We will like you to come down to Ghana
if it is possible for you
Thank for your co-operation.
Mr Nana Kwesi
Contact email: email@example.com