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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Gabriel da Costa <email@example.com>
Date: 02 Oct 2017 03:05:11 +0200
Subject: Urgent response needed
I am Gabriel Arcanjo da Costa of Sao Tome and Principe, a former
prime minister under the government of President Manuel Pinto da
In my capacity as Minister for natural resources, while providing
oil exploration licenses in the Gulf of Guinea by several
I have helped a particular company to get a license. After their
successful, they gave me $48 million in liquidity for my help .
I can not present or circulate the money in the bank in my
of the following reasons:
1. My salary is less than 1,000 US dollars and also I have to
consider the rigid stipulation,
rules and regulations in force in my country for civil servants.
2. Due to the intense competition of offer for oil exploration
licenses, there are now researching
how the whole process was made.
3. Also, there is also a rumor that I have an intention to
the next Presidential election. it is false but it caused me
problems with my party members. i am now
forced to leave my country with my family soon for safety
reasons. i decided to seek your cooperation
so that I can put the money under your care so that we may
my proposed investment .You will be rewarded appropriately with
25% of the entire funds.i will arrange
all the necessary procedures for the funds to get to you. it
would be advisable that you contact me
as soon as you receive my email so I can send you the steps to
follow for receipt of funds without any hindrance.
This case needs your urgent attention, your confidence and your
discretion. I hope I can count on you.
Thank you very much
Mr. Gabriel Arcanjo da Costa
Former Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe