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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Jessica Kone" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 18 May 2017 10:56:02 -0700
Subject: MAIL FROM JESSICA - Urgent.
This is Ms. Jessica Kone, Your partner. I want to first let you know that after six months in hospital I was successful and healthy from the major bone injury but I lost all your contact both of phone and email so I was checking on my old diary where I found your old email address and I decided to contact you here.
I want to let you know that the funds have now been moved to a bank in the USA but they need the final release order certificate to transfer the funds to you and the certificate can be obtained from the Ministry of Finance Benin at the cost of US$175 only.
As soon as you send the US$175 for the certificate, I will advise the bank to wire the US$2.5M to your bank account. Please do confirm to me if your former bank account with HSBC is still valid for the transfer.
Awaiting you quick reply.