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 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)
- "million 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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt J Foller" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2019 03:42:39 +0200
Subject: AMAZING GRACE!!
Compliments of the seasons to you, i am indeed sorry for intruding your privacy, but I implore you to give me a minute of your time to go through this message carefully.
I am Sgt. J Foller, I am among the Military patrol team in Kabul, Afghanistan.
With due respect, i need your assistance to evacuate a sum of $3.5m (Three Million Five Hundred thousand United States Dollars) to you for safekeeping until i will be through with my service here in Afghanistan to meet with you.
I and some other high ranking Officers made some deal on oil business over here in Afghanistan. The deal worth $132 Million United States Dollars and after we have all share the money I later realized $3.5 Million US Dollars which is my personal share of the deal.
The above figure was given to me as my part and to conceal this kind of amount became a problem for me while still here in Afghanistan, so with the help of a Canadian contact working with the UN here (his office enjoys some immunity) I was able to get the funds out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot.
Moreover I have now found a secured way of getting the money out of Afghanistan because i do not know how long i will remain here because of duty call to different location at any given time. This and other reasons put into consideration have prompted me to reach out for help if it might be of interest to you.
I wait to see your response so that we can begin the delivery processing immediately. Please I urge you to be discreet about this information. Thank you.
Sgt. J Foller