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:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Frank Peters" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 2020 10:35:17 +0000
Subject: Hello Dear,
Greetings, to you. I have come across your name and contact as search
the mail for a very good partner.
Briefly I will explain a business to you and if it would be to your
interest, then we can move ahead to effectively build this business
I have inherited the sum of $3.5 million dollars from my late father.
The funds had been with a bank here in my country.
As a result of some agreement clause, they could not release the funds
to me here locally.
In one occasion I went to the bank, a director of the bank called me
and explained to me that even if I want to transfer the funds out to
the account of a foreign partner, that it would take much time,
lawyers and many expenses.
He explained to me that the rigors are so much and most foreign
partners might not be interested to involve in such expenditure
because of the fear of scam.
He advised me that, I can get a foreign partner but instead of
transferring the funds to the account of the foreign partner, the bank
will offer an ATM card to my partner.
The ATM card is a PREMIUM PLATINUM CARD and this would allow us to
make withdrawals of the fund in your country to the tune of
50,000-100,000 dollars per day.
He explained to me that the card is good and would be sent to the
contact of my foreign partner by DHL or FEDEX.
If you are interested to partner with me, please reach back to me for
details and we can also discuss my investment plans.