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:
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2018 04:42:20 -0700
Subject: I need your assistance
My Names are Diezani Alison Madueke, i am
former Minister of Petroleum of my Country. i am presently
admitted in a Cancer special treatment center in London
United Kingdom. I need your assistance to help me or get me
any individual that can help my Children to invest the sum
of Two Hundred and Eighty Seven Million United States
Dollars ($287,000,000.00) only I kept in financial house for
safe keeping. Kindly go through this site bellow to confirm
my health conditions right now and i will give you more
details on the fund as soon as I hear from you.
Note there is no risk on your side
because I will use my Lawyer to legalize the fund in your
Name before it will move to any Bank
account of your Choice before two of my Children will come
to meet you up.
Hope to hear from you
Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke,