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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "keep this confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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: "R. Michael" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2017 01:15:05 +0100
Subject: Re: Business Proposal
I am seeking your partnership for an investment in your country, I am and personal aid/representative of Mrs. Deziani Allison-Madueke, an ex Oil Minister in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I have a very sensitive and confidential brief from this top (oligarch) to ask for your partnership in re-profiling fund worth US$75.5M. This is a legitimate transaction; you will be paid 20% for your "management fees".
SOURCE OF FUNDS: The fund derived from Crude Oil Lifted by Petroleum minister/OPEC president and The Former GMD NNPC of Oil Company. During there principals reign they handled a lot of Crude Oil deals. And the money was secretly left in our Bank in escrow account for purpose of safe keeping and now both as been arrested for embezzlement, one is being prosecuted at the British Crown Court for charges of embezzling over Thirteen Billion Pound Sterling (?13,000,000,000.00). You can confirm this issue from the following web pages and others, while other just been arrested in Africa for possession of some dollars at home.
All I need from you is to stand as the beneficiary of the above quoted sum and all deposit documents will be made available in your favor which will enable the Security Company hand over the entire deposit to you as the beneficiary. My client intends to use this sum to relocate abroad for a possible investment project after regaining his freedom as she is currently restricted from leaving the United Kingdom till middle of next year.
If you are interested, please write back and provide me with your confidential telephone number and email address and I will provide further details and instructions. Please keep this confidential; we can't afford more political problems. Finally, please note that this must be concluded within two weeks.
Waiting your response to my private email: email@example.com