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:
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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: "Nuel Mark" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2019 23:35:47 -0700
Subject: I wait for your response if it might interest you
Hope this meet you in a healthy condition!
Am so grateful to have contacted you and I hope our communication on here would be something of great value. I am Nuel Mark, I work with United Nations Peace Keeping Team and I am the head of humanitarian duties. I would like us to have a business discussion if you don't mind. Actually am looking forward to establish good business relationship in any good country abroad and I would like to share the idea with you if you are interested in knowing more of it.
Well, my friend... What am truly needing is someone who's reliable, honest and trustworthy to partner with. But I would want you to assure me of your trust before anything can take place and it's very confidential, it's going to be a secret between both of us. Though I have a huge fortune amount worth of $15.5M deposited in a security house in affiliation with a bank that I want us to use for investment purpose. And I will be needing your assistant to help receive the funds in your country for investment purpose... All I need is your honesty, trust and commitment.
I wait for your response if it might interest you. Kindly reply to email@example.com