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.
- 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: "Al-Hashimi Reem" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2018 18:26:43 -0000
Subject: I am writing you to stand as my partner
My name is Reem E. Al-Hashimi, the Emirates Minister of State and Managing Director for the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) World Expo 2020 Committee.
I am writing you to stand as my partner to receive my share of gratification from foreign companies whom I helped during the bidding exercise towards the Dubai World Expo 2020 Committee.
As a married Arab women serving as a minister, there is a limit to my personal income and investment level. For this reason, I cannot receive such a huge sum back to my country, so an agreement was reached with the foreign companies to direct the gratifications to an open beneficiary account with a financial institution where it will be possible for me to instruct further transfer of the fund to a third party account for investment purpose which is the reason i contacted you to receive the fund as my partner for investment in your country.
The amount is valued at $47,745,533.00 United States dollars with a financial institution waiting my instruction for further transfer to a destination account as soon as I have your information indicating interest to receive and invest the fund.
If you can handle the fund in a good investment, get back to me for more details on this email; email@example.com.