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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Ryan Campell <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2019 08:51:42 +0200
Subject: HELP AND URGENT
My Dear Friend
Please, my name is Mr Ryan Campell a citizen of the island of Saint Lucia, presently living and working in London [UK] as a Senior Staff and Regional Branch Manager here with the Energy International Bank London UK.
I am married and I have 2 kids a boy that is 9 years and my daughter that is 5 years old. My main reason for making this proposal to you is that my son has been diagnosed with Leukemia and he needs a bone marrow transplant or he will die.
I only hope we can assist each other. I make this proposal in Good faith, I have packaged a financial Transaction that Will benefit both of us, as the Regional Bank Manager, it is my duty to send in a financial report to my head Office in Florida United State of America at the end of each quarter of the year.
On the course of last first quarter of the year April 2019 report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the manager here in London made Usd$2,865.000.00 Which my Head Office, are not aware.
When I noticed this, I decided to place this fund on what we call Escrow Account without any Beneficiary. As an Officer of the Bank, I can not be directly connected to this money, so this informed my contacting you for us to work together so that you can assist me to receive this money into your bank account. I am willing to give you 40% of the total fund if you accept to receive these funds on my behalf in your country.
There are practically no risk involved, it will be bank to bank transfer all I need from you is your honesty and to stand in as the original depositor of this fund so that my Bank can order the transfer to your designated bank account, I am going to program your name in the database of the Bank as the real depositor of the funds past 1 years and you want to close the account to be transferred back to you in your country.
If you accept this offer to work with me, I will appreciate it very much. As soon as I receive your response I will detail you on how we can achieve it successfully.
My direct email address
is : firstname.lastname@example.org