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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: beachten Zahlung <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:25:43 +0000
Subject: Hello Dear
I am very happy indeed to inform you that at last I succeeded for the USD$ 12.6 Million fund transaction under a help of Mr. Takuya Ha-Jun from Japan. It is like a miracle after all the problems and difficulties I encountered on the transaction process. Above all, I did not forget my promise to God that I will render assistance to the charities and less privileged kids. I tried to achieve the project here but could not because of the political instabilities and selfish interest in the my Country.
Therefore I would like to use you to accomplish the promise I made. I am in Japan now for my contract project with Mr. Takuya Ha-Jun and very busy at the moment. Before I left my Country I left US$1.2M (ONE MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS)in certified bank draft under the care of my former secretary REV, RICARDO LINUS who is now in his country.
I told him that I will contact you from Japan to enable him make solid arrangement on how the above amount in draft can be safely reaches to you through a good payment method that will not have any stress. So feel free to contact him and make solid arrangement with him on how the above inside the Draft can able to reach you,
And please kindly make sure you use (ONE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS)out of the total amount to launch a foundation on the motherless babies in your area in my name, and keep (TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) to yourself as a reward of your participation and effort.
Urgently call REV. RICARDO LINUS via his TELEPHONE; +229-98558496 and email your information to him through his Email address: -(firstname.lastname@example.org)