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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 Renate Charles <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2017 15:20:52 +0000
Subject: Re: Dear Friend,
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope this mail finds you in an excellent condition of health. But if you do not remember me, you have received an email from me in the past regarding a multi-million-dollar business proposal which we never concluded. I am using this opportunity to inform you that this multi-million-dollar business has been concluded with another Greek Merchant who financed it to a logical conclusion.
I thank you for your great effort towards our unfinished transfer of fund into your account, due to one reason or the other best known to you at that time. Due to the effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed during the course of the transaction, I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of Eight hundred and fifty thousand united states dollars ($850,000.00).
I have left an ATM VISA CARD for you, worth about $850,000.00 which you can use to withdraw at any ATM CARD machine anywhere in the world. My dear friend, please contact my Account Officer, Mrs Syvie Reine, so that she will send the ATM VISA CARD to you without any delay. At the moment, I'm very busy here in Greece, trying to invest my own share of the funds with my new partner.
Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.
CONTACT: Mrs Syvie Reine.
PHONE: +228 91359884.
Therefore, you should send him your full Name, telephone number and contact address for his reference and ask him to release the ATM VISA CARD to you because i have instructed her.
Thank you in anticipation for your past efforts and God bless you.
Mr Renate Charles.