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)
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- 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. MANDOUR ELMAHDI" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2017 11:55:23 +0200
You may be surprise to receive this mail since you dont know me personally, but with due respect, trust and humility, I write to you this proposal. I am Mr. Mandour Elmahdi the son of Mr. Tariq Elmahdi of Darfur Sudan. It is indeed my pleasure to contact you for assistance of a business venture which I intend to establish in your country.
I got your contact while I was doing a private research on the Internet for a reliable and capable foreign partner that will assist me and my family to transfer fund to your personal or private account for investment purpose Though I have not met with you before, but considering the recent political instabilities in my country, I believe one has to risk confiding in success sometimes in life.
There is this huge amount of money ( US$18 Million.) EIGHTEEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS ) which my late Father deposited here in South Africa awaiting claim before he was assassinated by unknown persons during this war in Darfur Sudan.
Now I have decided to invest this money in your country or anywhere safe for security and political reasons. I want you to help me retrieve this money for onward transfer to any designated bank account of your choice for investment purposes on these areas below:
1) Transport Industry.
2) Mechanized agriculture.
3} Estate investment.
I will then furnish you with more details and I have mutually agreed to compensate you with 30% which is your share for assisting me, and 5% for any expenses that might be incurred by both parties in the course of the transaction. Then the remaining 65% will be for me and my family, which you will help us to invest in your country. Please, you can contact me through this Email: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
All I require is your honest & kind co-operation. I will give you further details as soon as you show interest in helping me.
I wait for your kind consideration to my proposal.
Mr. Mandour Elmahdi