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:
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "John Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2019 23:12:27 -0700
Subject: Read very well and Reply Fast please
My name is General John William Nicholson. I am an American soldier, presently in Afghanistan for the training, advising the Afghan forces and also helping in stabilizing the country against security challenges. With a very desperate need for assistance, I have decided to contact you for your kind assistance to move the sum of (US$8,000,000.00) Eight Million United States Dollars to you in your country for two purposes.
1. Moving the funds to a safe haven
2. Allowing you to use the funds for investment over a period of five (5) years
If I have your word that my interest will be protected until I complete my I am prepared to leave you with 10% of this sum for receiving them while allow you to use the remaining 90% for investment over a period not exceeding five years. Some money in various currencies was discovered in boxes at a farmhouse during a rescue operation we conducted in one of the attacks by the terrorist group and it was agreed by my colleagues and I that some part of this money be shared among us .
The above figure was given to me as my share, and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a united nations aid supply plane, I was able to get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot.The security company where the money is deposited have contacted me with notice on closing operations and I have ask them to give me a short time to appoint a beneficiary who will either come in person for the claim or have it delivered my appointed beneficiary's country.
Please contact me as soon as possible with the following details:
God Bless you as I look forward to your positive response.
General John William Nicholson