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:
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Webmail, South Africa; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
Date: Sat, 25 Dec 2021 08:21:10 +0100
Dear Sir ,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss this project with you.
We are looking for a reliable person/company where we can investment some f=
unds and I as the procurement Manager is given the mandate to source for a=
competent individual or company that we can partner with.
I got your info during my search for a reliable and neutral company/individ=
ual we can partner with in the area of investment.
I need your assistance to manage an investment fund in a profitable busines=
s in your region with good Annual Return on Investment(AROI).I know that th=
is might come to you as a surprise because we have not known each other nor=
met but please accept it with an open and positive mind.
Details of the investment and funding will be sent when I receive your resp=
onse which will facilitate a face to face meeting with the investors.