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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer into your account" (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 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)
- "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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Julius Kpako" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2019 22:49:17 -0000
Subject: Re:Partnership Investment
From the Desk of Bank Manager,Ghana.
Am Sorry to invade your privacy,My name is Mr.Julius Kpako a branch bank manager from Ghana. After several official inquiries from the foreign trade office of our Chambers of Commerce and Industry,I decided to contact you directly for an assistance.
I am interested to transfer and invest in your country through your assistance.I am in Ghana presently and I have the sum of Ten Million Eight hundred thousand US Dollars which I would like to transfer into your account and invest in your country if possible.
I made this money US$10,800,000.00 out of my branch office excess profit for the 2015 fiscal year.I choose you because I cannot be directly involve for I am still working with the bank as the Branch Manager,I hope you can understand my situation and assist me to receive and invest this money properly in your country.because this is my only hope.
Please kindly get back to me j(email@example.com)as soon as possible.