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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Kwabenya <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2020 07:32:06 -0700
Subject: re-contacting you again..rad
Hello Good day,
I have previously sent you an email regarding a transaction worth of 3.2 million with my bank and (120KG) of gold bars with safekeeping company left by my late client before
his tragic death without indicating a next of kin.
I am contacting you once again and I strongly believe that you will be in a better position to execute this business transaction with me. Please if you are interested to
proceed with me kindly respond to my email urgently for more detail information.
This transaction is 100% risk free while the funds will be shared equal by the both of us upon successful conclusion of the fund transfer to your nominated Bank account. Please
advice urgently as your information is all I require to facilitate the claim application on your behalf.
Citibank GH Representative Office