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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Jean Koffi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 29 Aug 2020 12:13:26 -0500
Subject: Hello my good friend,
Hello my good friend,
How are you doing hope all is well with you? You may not understand why
this mail came to you,But if you do not remember me,you might have receive
an email from me in the past regarding a multi-million-dollar business
proposal which we never concluded. I am using this opportunity to inform
you that the multi-million-dollar business has been concluded with the
assistance of another partner from France who financed the transaction to a
I thank you for your great efforts to our unfinished transfer of fund into
your account due to one reason or the other best known to you. I want to
inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund to my new
partner's account in France that was capable of assisting me in this great
venture. Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness you
showed during the course of the transaction. I want to compensate you and
show my gratitude to you with the sum of USD
500,000.00. I have left a Certified Bank Draft for you worth of USD
500,000.00 cash able anywhere in the world, Five Hundred Thousand United
States Dollars Only.
Kindly contact my Account Officer with heritage bank on her direct email
address (email@example.com) for the collection of your bank draft, her
names are: Mrs. Diane GOMA. I authorized her to release your Bank Draft to
you whenever you contact her regarding for it. At the moment, I'm very busy
with my partner because of the investment project which I and my new
partner are having at hand. Please I will like you to accept this token
with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart,Also comply with
Mrs. Diane GOMA's directive so that your DRAFT can reach you without delay.
Note her contact details below:
Name: Mrs. Diane GOMA
Kindly get back to me once you cash your Check.