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 us 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)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "Mr. Bright Ford" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2019 07:17:50 -0500
Subject: Dearly Beloved In Christ
I am happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds
transferred with the co-operation of a new partner from Germany who is an
international businessman. I am much delighted to contact you immediately
to share my happiness with you. Nevertheless, I take this freedom to inform
you that the transaction we were pursuing then together finally worked out
by the mercy of GOD Almighty. Based on that, I have deposited the sum of
(US$1.5,000,000.00) One Million,Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars) to the
Compensation finance house for you to contact them. I have authorized the
compensation finance house manager where I deposited your international
certified bank draft worth the sum of (US$1.5,000,000.00 One Million, Five
Hundred Thousand US Dollars) cash able at any bank in your country.
I want you to contact the manager in charge of the Compensation finance
house for the collection of this international certified bank draft. The
name of the person is Mr. Harrison Newman the compensation finance house
manager. So I urge you to contact the compensation finance house as soon as
you receive this email with the contact details below.
COMPENSATION AND FINANCE HOUSE HEAD OFFICE
Compensation Manager: Mr. Harrison Newman
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Tel: +1912289-0712
Try to contact his office as soon as possible and reconfirm to him your
Name and address to avoid any mistakes while sending your international
certified bank draft across to you because he is the one in charge of the
sending of your international certified bank draft to you.
Please you are to act according to the instruction giving you by him to
avoid any delay. At the moment, i am out of the town for business trip.
Meanwhile, I did not forget your past efforts and attempts, most especially
the positive contribution you showed to assist in all manners.
Remember that I have forwarded instruction to Mr. Harrison Newman on your
behalf to send the bank draft to your residence/office address which you
are to prove to him for the sending of the bank draft as you may instruct
him. Take note and bear it in mind that the International Certified Bank
Draft has a validity period of 30 banking days, as such it is expedient
that you contact him in due course and thus have modality put in place to
conclude this arrangement in the earliest possible time. He is to send the
sum of $1.500,000.00 (US$1.5,000,000.00 One Million, Five Hundred Thousand
US Dollars). I will want you to accept this token with good faith.
Finally, my advice to you is that you should endeavor to pay your tithe
when you get the money.
PLEASE NOTE: You are to indicate this code: M581 to the manager when
contacting his office because it is your international certified bank draft
file registration code with them so as to prove your identity as soon as
they get your contact details the finance house manager will send you your
certified bank draft.
Thanks and God bless you and your family.
Mr. Bright Ford.