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 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Maryam Ahmed" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2019 06:29:39 -0700
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL.
Good day to you, I am so sorry for sending you this unsolicited and unexpected mail.I got your contact from a Business Directory in my agents office and I decided to contact you directly for the sake of business.
My name is Mrs Maryam Ahmed, originated from Libya, living in Uganda. I am searching for a reliable and experience business expert in Middle-East Asia or in any country that can guide me in setting up a lucrative business investment, I want to invest on Real Estate business in my country but based on some Politician Crisis and insecurity in my country, I decided to look for tourism country for this investment project.
I got to understand that this is the best time to invest, So am only soliciting for your assistance and guidance for you to help me invest in any lucrative business. I have about $ 10.5 Million Dollars and I would need your assistance to invest the money either in Middle-East or any other country of your choice under your guidance. So I am only soliciting for your assist me to invest. My Business is totally free of risk and trouble.
If you are willing to help me invest this fund, Please kindly get back to me for more details.