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:
- ",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)
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Barry Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 17 May 2020 15:14:12 +0100
Subject: I NEED YOUR URGENT REPLY.
My name is Mr. Barry Williams, I work with one of the African Security companies which I am the Deposit Department Manager. I write to involve you in a mutual business that will benefit us and our unborn generation. There is a deposit of US$400,000,000.00 with our company in disguised as family values by the late Mr. Abba kyari the formal chief of Staff to the President of Nigeria Monhammadu Buhari who died of Corona Virus this year 2020.
Immediately, i heard and confirmed of his death, i was able to delete his deposit information from our data base and had all related documents hidden from the notice of any of our officials for security reasons and for the safety of this deposit while i make confidential contact to have this fund secured out of this country without delay by the assistance of a reliable company or individual that can solidly stand without fear to have this deposit claimed and received as the true beneficiary for our mutual benefits.
Why i have contacted you via email is to seek for your secret partnership to have this fund received in your favor as the true owner because i will be able to have the deposit beneficiary reprogrammed in your name as the depositor and owner of the fund with our company once i am satisfied to work with you in this venture.
It is important for you to note that once you are good for this business, there is 100% guarantee that his fund will be successfully released to you without any problem because i will make sure that every legal modalities will be in place to avoid any breach of any Governmental laws and there nothing to fear about as long as this business is concerned with my position in place.
I need your urgent reply in this matter.