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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Jean Buna" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2019 20:27:41 +0000
Subject: Hello, token of compensation for your past efforts...
Hello, token of compensation for your past efforts...
I wish to inform you that I concluded this transaction successful last year with a lady in London and I am currently residing in London with my family for project investment with the fund.
I dropped the (cheque in bank draft) with my secretary Mr. Pete Koffi for your compensation, by trying to assist me but it did not work out between us . The amount is US$1,500,000.00.
I did this out of sympathy for your efforts and I hope you will be satisfied with my compensation I will advise you to contact him immediately through his e-mail address:( firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) ) for the delivery of the bank draft to you. I hope you will have a nice life with my token of compensation for your efforts and God bless you.