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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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)
- "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 "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: Henry James<email@example.com>
Date: 08 Feb 2020 16:23:39 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend..
I'm sorry, but happy to inform you about my success in getting
those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner
from Vietnam. Though, I tried my best to involve you in the
business, but God decided the whole situation. Presently, Iâm in
Vietnam for investment projects with my own share of the total
sum. Meanwhile, I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to
assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us
Now, contact my secretary his name is Mr. David Gate and his
email address is (firstname.lastname@example.org). Ask him to send you
the total sum of $800,000.00 which I kept for your compensation
for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this
matter. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much. So,
feel free to get in touch with my secretary Mr. David Gate and
instruct him where to send the amount to you. Please, do let me
know immediately you receive it, so that we can share joy after
all the sufferings at that time.
At this moment, Iâm very busy here, because of the investment
projects which I and my new partner are having at hand. Remember
that I had forwarded instruction to the secretary on your behalf
to receive that money. So, feel free to get in touch with Mr.
David Gate. He will send the amount to you without any delay.
Finally, I am very busy here now with the investment
opportunities without any time for myself. Therefore, I want you
to concentrate with my secretary, until the funds are transferred
to you without any further delay. I will not have much time
replying you further, but I have instructed my secretary to do
the needful. Extend my greetings to your family.
My best regards,
Mr. Henry James
Greetings from Vietnam.