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)
- "confidential business" (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: "Mr. Rapheal Kamara" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 2019 09:10:39 -0800
Subject: Re: GOOD NEWS FOR YOU MY FRIEND!
My dear friend,
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope this mail finds you in an excellent condition of health. But if you do not remember me, you have received an email from me in the past regarding a confidential business proposal which we never concluded. I am using this opportunity to inform you that the business has been concluded with another Merchant who financed it to a logical conclusion.
I thank you for your great effort towards our unfinished transaction, due to one reason or the other best known to you at that time. Due to the effort, sincerity, and trustworthiness you showed during the course of the transaction, we have compensated you with your percentage to show our gratitude to you with the sum of one Million, Seven hundred and fifty thousand United States dollars. I have left an international ATM Visa CARD for you, worth US$1,750,000.00
Now feel free to contact the lawyer that helped us then and ask him to send to you the sum of (US$1,750,000.00) which we left with him for your compensation for your past effort and attempt to help me then. The US$1,750,000.00 was loaded inside an ATM VISA CARD as I instructed the banker before given it to the lawyer for the security and safety of the money. Kindly take note that once you receive the ATM VISA CARD you will be able to withdraw the cash in any ATM machine in your country.
I'm very busy and will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart. Contact the lawyer immediately and send the below information to him and direct him on how he will send the ATM VISA CARD to you. His contact as stated below
NAME: MR Franck Edson and his E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
1,Your Full Name..........
4, email address............
In case you want to call me for us to celebrate together here is my phone number in Washington DC +1 (202) 7962777 though I am very busy with my partner for our investment here in Washington DC but you can always get me when calling.
Mr. Buffett WK Raphael