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:
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned 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)
- contact me using my confidential email address: email@example.com mrs aisha buhari wife of the president federal republic of (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Aisha Buhari" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 07:39:48 -0300
Subject: Good Friend
Dear: Good Friend,
I hope this massage meet you well. My name is Aisha Buhari, the wife of the President Federal Republic of Nigeria. During the cause of my husband medical leave in London, United Kingdom for about 103 days, which no body believe he will survive, in my capacity as the first lady I used that opportunity to over invoice US$5 Million from some Contract that was awarded to foreign companies.
Right now I want to present you as one of our foreign contractors so that this fund can be release to you, then I will partner with you in your own field and area of business specialization so that we can invest this fund together under your management and care. Please I am urging you to keep this to yourself because this is the only future I have secured for myself and my children.
I will work out all the documents needed to complete the successful process of this transaction.
Contact me using my confidential email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Aisha Buhari
Wife Of The President
Federal Republic Of Nigeria
Reply to: email@example.com