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)
- 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: ABEL JOEL <email@example.com>
Reply-To: ABEL JOEL <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 5 Jan 2019 15:46:33 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Your Compensation
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition. You may not understand why this mail came to you. But if you do not remember me, you might have receive an email from me in the past regarding a business proposal which we never concluded.
Due to my tight schedules I could not contact you earlier before now. I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner. Presently I'm in Seoul South Korea for an 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 and I am sorry for what happened.
Now contact my secretary Name is: Mr.Desmond Edward Email address: email@example.com
Tell him to send you the Atm card, a total sum of US US$850.000.00 which I kept for your compensation for all your past efforts and attempts to assist me in this transaction, which was applied in your name I appreciated your efforts at that time so much.
Now get in contact with my secretary Mr.Desmond Edward and instruct him where to send the Atm Card to you. Please do let me know immediately you receive the Atm card for us to share the joy together after our past efforts at that time. At this moment, I am very busy here because of the investment projects which my new partner and I are having at hand.
Finally, remember I have forwarded instruction to Mr. Desmond Edward on your behalf for him to send you your Atm.