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)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: "Mrs. Girotk Aurent" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 14:53:04 +0100
Subject: CONTACT:Mr. James Patrick
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family?, You may not understand why this mail came to you. But if you do not remember me, you might have receive an email from me in the past regarding a multi-million-dollar business proposal which we never concluded.
I am using this opportunity to inform you that this multi-million-dollar business has been concluded with the assistance of another partner from Sweden who financed the transaction to a logical conclusion. I thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transfer of fund into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you.
But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the funds out of my bank to my new partner's account in India that was capable of assisting me in this great venture. Due to your effort,sincerity,courage and trust worthiness You showed during the course of the transaction.I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of US$10,200,000.00. I have left a Bank Draft for you worth of US$10,200,000.00 cash able anywhere in the world.
My dear friend I will like you to contact my Account Officer Mr. James Patrick on his direct email address at [email@example.com] to facilitate the collection of your Bank Draft. I authorized him to release the Bank Draft to you whenever you contact him regarding for it. At the moment, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects, which I and the new partner are having at hand.
Please I will like you to accept this token in good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart,Also please comply with Patrick's directives so that he will send the draft to you without any delay.
CONTACT:Mr. James Patrick
Account Officer, Cotonou,
His email address:firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks & Best Regards,
Mrs. Girotk Aurent
Have a nice day