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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Andrea Van"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2021 11:08:00 +0100
Subject: OFFICIAL INFORMATION REPLY URGETLY
I am a UK based financial consultant, and I got your contact from the London Chambers of Commerce and Industry. A client of mine from Jordan in the Middle East seeks for a foreign partner, specifically from the United States, who has the capability and capacity to handle a vast investment of USD745,500,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Forty Five Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S. Dollars). His interest is mainly in the following sectors:
1. Commercial Real Estate
2. Oil and Gas
4. Renewable energy/ Health sector
7. Hotel and leisure activities
8. Mining, and Transportation.
My client wants guaranteed 2% Annual Return on Investment (AROI), and he wants these funds held and invested in the United States, America,Europe, Asia, or any other country of the world for a period of at least 10 years, he is also willing to offer you a one time fee of 10% of the total funds for your assistance and participation in this project. These funds are already deposited in a bank in Europe for subsequent transfer to your choice country. More details shall be communicated to you if you indicate your interest in a return email. email@example.com
Mr. Andrea Van
Director Business Relations Unit,