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)
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "PAULINUS" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <email@example.com >
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 15:09:54 -0800
Subject: YOUR URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED.
I hope this message would meet you in good faith.
My name is Agbo Paulinus,a friend to the former Togolese defense minister,Gnassingbe Kpatcha Eyadema who was jailed for 20 years by his senior brother,president Faure Gnassingbe Eyadema over an allegation of coup d'etat that never took place.(TWO BROTHERS AT WAR OVER THE PRESIDENCY AFTER THE DEATH OF THEIR FATHER,ETIENNE GNASSINGBE EYADEMA) who ruled Togo for 43 years.
The president, Faure Gnassingbe Eyadema seized all the belongings of his younger brother such as houses,cars and bank accounts.
Being a friend of mine,i recently visited him in the prison and he confided in me that,the president will seize the only remaining valuable if detected.
He then asked me to source for a reliable and trustworthy person to take up his valuable for outside Ghana which he deposited with a security company for investment.
Bear in mind that if you accept this offer, my commission of 5% must be set aside as you take up the transaction.
Note also that, there's no risk nor fear to entertain as you take up the transaction. The content of the deposit shall be declared to you as you accept this offer.
I would guide you according to his instructions and show the deposit to you.
All documents related to the deposit shall be presented to you.
You can reach me on my private email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Awaiting to hearing from you.
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