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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- 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: "Widad Babiker" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2019 10:01:22 +0300
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam, Good News...126
I have important message for you.
My name is Mrs Widad Babiker Omer, wife of the Sudanese President, who was dethroned few months ago.
I am interested to invest in your country with sum of $28million United States Dollars and this money belong to my Husband whom the Sudanese people has put in jail, after all we have done for them.
Here in Sudan, we are under house arrest and Country economy is not encouraging at all.
however I will like you to tell me how is your country economy are and what we can invest this money on in your country.
furthermore this funds will be split 5% will be put out from the total funds for any expenses that comes in local or international while 50% of the funds shall be used for investment then 35% for you the remaining 10% will be kept for me until I arrive at your country if you are interested get back to me through this Email email@example.com
Mrs. Widad Babiker Omer.