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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "i feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Jones Andre Mba Obame" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2018 22:38:19 +0200
Subject: Hello Friend
I am looking to work with a reputable individual/firm to engage in a profit oriented ventures in your country and perhaps with your assistance, we could get low tax rates.
I have the directive of Mr. Mikhail Khodorkovsky to source for partner abroad who can accommodate and manage 150M & 350M USD respectively. The sums are derived from an executed project with Yukos Oil Company before the company was changed and merged into Rosneft Oil Corporation in Russia.
We shall apply for the necessary paper work required to re-profile your name as the recipient and also ensure payment is carried out by Rosneft into a bank account in your name. I guaranty we would execute this business under a legitimate arrangement without breach of the law.
Further details will follow upon your positive reply.
PLEASE YOU MUST RESPOND VIA
Vladimir Stankov.Hello Friend
I am writing this mail to you with tears and sorrow from my heart.
With due respect trust and humanity, i appeal to you to exercise a
little patience and read through my letter i feel quite safe dealing
with you in this important business having gone through your
remarkable profile, honestly i am writing this email to you with
pains, tears and sorrow from my heart, i will really like to have a
good relationship with you and i have a special reason why i decided
to contact you, I decided to contact you due to the urgency of my
situation, My name is Jones
My father was Gabon opposition leader Andre Mba Obame by name, He died
on April 12,2015.After the burial of my father, my stepmother and
uncle conspired and sold my father's property to an Germany Expert
rate which the shared the money among themselves and live nothing for
me. One faithful morning, I opened my father's briefcase and found out
the documents which he have deposited huge amount of money in one
leading Firm with my name as the next of kin.
I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and I believe that you
will not betray my trust. But rather take me as your own brother.
Though you may wonder why I am so soon revealing myself to you without
knowing you, well I will say that my mind convinced me that you may be
the true person to help me. More so , I will like to disclose much to
you if you can help me to relocate to your country because my
stepmother have threaten to assassinate me. The amount is( $11.8
USD)Million United State Dollars.
If you are interested to help me, please reply back for more
information on this e-mail (email@example.com)
Jones Andre Mba Obame.