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:
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- 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: "Mr.James Attah." <"WWW."@beetle.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr.James Attah." <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2017 09:59:26 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Please get back to me as soon as possible.
My name is Mr James Attah, and i am from Benin Republic in West Africa
Sir i want to inform you that i have concluded and won my case against my devilish uncle who wanted to collect the
assets and my inheritance funds my father left for me.
Now i am planning to come over to your country with some large sum of money for an investment.
However, i do not know any investor in your country whom i may trust to handle the business for me as i am a foreigner.
Secondly, i am afraid of bringing in a large amount of money to your country.Could you please indicate your interest to work with me for this purpose,Although, I am in need of your response to this arrangement to enable me find out the amount someone can bring into your country,but i am planning to bring the sum of USD$5,500.000(Five million five hundred thousand US Dollars)to your country & for the investment,
Confirm to me if this amount will not attract a high task toll & also negotiate your commission with me so that we can kick start this business investment immoderately,Meanwhile i am making arrangement with a Diplomat who will deliver this inheritance Funds to you in your country of residence after hearing from you,
Please contact me on this my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sir kindly confirm this below information's to me so that the diplomat will reach you as soon as he arrives your country
for the delivery of this investment funds to you & that is after hearing from you soonest,
5.Direct Telephone Numbers:.....
Please get back to me as soon as possible.
Waiting your quick mail,
I thank you for your co-operation,
Mr James Attah,