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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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. Knight Stephen" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 May 2018 22:07:35 -0000
Subject: Attention: Sir/Madam
Good day, how are you doing? i hope you're okay today, I am a marketer and a consultant represent some private and large bulk investors based in the Gulf Region and Africa. They are seeking means of expanding and relocating business interest abroad in the following sectors like hotel/leisure, hospitality, real estate, five star malls or five star office complexes or any fast interest generating businesses.
It will be my pleasure to talk with you if you have a solid background and idea of making good profit in any of the mentioned business sectors or any other viable business in your Country, Please write me for possible business Co-operation. More so, we are ready to facilitate and fund any business that is capable of generating 3-5% annual return on investment (AROI) Joint Venture partnership and hard loan funding can also be considered. I am available to discuss this proposal with you and to answer any questions you may have in regard to this investment.
Thanks for your kind understanding. Contact me in my private email: ( email@example.com )
Mr. Knight Stephen