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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Aish Ibrahim <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2021 21:22:33 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend,
How are you doing with your family? I hope fine. I'm happy to inform you
about my success in getting those funds transferred under the co-operation
of a new partner from Venezuela, Presently Iâm in Venezuela, and meanwhile
I didn't forget your past efforts to assist me in transferring those funds
despite that it failed us somehow.
Now contact my secretary in Burkina-Faso West Africa through his e-mail id (
firstname.lastname@example.org) ask him to send you the ATM worth sum of
($850,000 US Dollars) which I kept for your compensation for all the past
efforts and attempts to assist me in this transaction.
So feel free and get in touch with my secretary Mr.Idris Musa, he will end
the ATM CARD to you and you should not forget to send him your information
where he will send your ATM CARD to avoid any mistake.
Miss Aish Ibrahim.