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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: "Dr. Smith Marcus" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2018 11:09:31 +0200
Subject: Re: Your Compensation
I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting the fund
transferred to a Swiss Account with the cooperation of a new partner
from England who is an international business man.
Presently I'm in England 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 those funds despite that it
failed us some how that is why I decided to compensate you.
Now contact my secretary, his contact:
Name: Dr. Peter Howellside
Ask him to send you the total $800,000.00 (Eight Hundred Thousand
United State Dollars) which I kept for your compensation for all the
past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter.
I appreciated your efforts at that time very much. So feel free and
get in touched with my secretary Dr. Peter Howellside and instruct him
where to send the Money to you. Please do let me know immediately you
receive it so that we can share the joy after all the sufferings at
In the moment, I am very busy here because of the investment projects
which I and the new partner are having at hand.
Finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to my secretary on
your behalf to receive that money, so feel free to get in touch with
Dr, Peter Howellside and he will send the amount to you without any
delay.You can as well call me for more discussion.
Dr. Smith Marcus