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:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (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: "Ana Mimi" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2019 20:50:27 +0100
Subject: Thanks For Your Effort So !!
How are you doing today, I do hope that my mail meet you and your household well and in good health?
I wish to inform you that i have successfully claim and moved my inheritance fund to Saudi-Arabia through the help of my new partner from Saudi-Arabia. My Partner is currently busy with the investment project in Dubai and I also have a successful medical treatment in a Hospital in Hamburg, German.I am fully ok health wise and sound now.
I still can`t forget all your effort to help move the fund despite it didn`t work out, I and my partner agreed to mapped out something for you as compensation for all your effort you put to help me. I do leave behind the sum of $800.000 for you, do contact Mr Adam Smith so that she will transfer the money to you immediately.
Below is Mr Adam Smith contact details
Name: Mr Adam Smith
Please contact me immediately you receive the money.