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)
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Neil Cyril" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2019 01:02:00 +0100
Subject: PROJECT FUNDING
With due respect, I observe every protocols and pay all due compliments.I
am interested in establishing and operating a very viable business as a
means of investment abroad. I do not know too well on how this is done in
your country, so I will need you to help me in this regard. My prefer is
any good profit yielding business and I would appreciate any viable ideas
you could come up with. I will also need you to help me look for properties
like homes and lands for sale as I am proposing to invest the sum of Twenty
Million United States Dollars ($20,000,000.0USD) for this. I do not know if
you can handle this and will be of help to me.
For a brief on my personality; my name is Mr.Cyril E.Nell, am Scottish
based in Turkey Istanbul I am a retired Business man, formally into oil and
Gold. I am 62 years of age, married with a wife and 4 lovely kids.I dropped
my Shipping business because it wasn't producing profitable income. I have
had so much problems with the TURKISH Authority just because I am foreigner
I believe. coupled with the corruption rate and recent terrorist activity
in the country.Hence my need for this business preposition and to acquire
these properties is very urgent as I am planning to move out of this
country with my family down to your country. I want you to also help in
finding a good home where my family and I will live in. (Mini Estate)Please
I expect your good and prompt reply so that we can proceed swiftly.
I will need your phone and fax numbers for easier communication with you.
Please if you are not interested kindly delete the message.
Waiting your swift response