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:
- 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:
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (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. )
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Cynthia" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 01:16:07 -0800
Subject: HI! ITS A GOOD NEWS.
Hello dear .
Its me Miss CYNTHIA the girl who you wanted to help long time ago about my late father fund which i was the next of kin to the fund when i was in refugee camp in Benin Republic.
How are you today and your health? Hope you are well ? I am happy to inform you about my success in getting my funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from london , now I'm in London for investment projects with my own share of the total sum. Meanwhile , I did not forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring this fund . therefore, I want you to get in contact with rev . father Camara in Benin republic with his, email Below,
St. John Baptist
01 B.P. 65, Gbegame
Email ==== ( email@example.com )
Ask him to send a checksum value ($650,000.00 ) Six hundred and fifty thousand U.S. dollars which i kept for your compensation for all your past efforts and try to help ; I appreciate your efforts at that time very much. so do not hesitate and contact with him and instruct him where to send the cheque to you . please let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy together after all the sufferings of the time. right now, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects which I and my new partner have at hand , so feel free to get in touch with Rev Father GODWIN.
thanks and God bless You real good.
Miss CYNTHIA JATITI.