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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "u.k " (this email uses bad English)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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 Raymond cofer <www.@rondo.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Mr Raymond cofer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2018 23:41:33 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Compensation Draft Check valued at $ 850,000.00 dollars for you!
My dear friend,
How are you doing hope all is well with you?
You may not understand why this mail came to you,But if you do not remember me,you might have receive an email from me in the past regarding a multi-million-dollar business proposal which we never concluded. I am using this opportunity to
inform you that the multi-million-dollar business has been concluded with the assistance of another partner from U.K who financed the transaction to a logical conclusion.
I thank you for your great efforts to our unfinished transfer of fund into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you. I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund to my new partner's account in UK that was capable of assisting me in this great venture. Due to your effort,sincerity,courage and trust worthiness you during the course of the transaction. I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of Eight hundred and Fifty thousand dollars(US$850,000.00 ). I have left a cheque for you worth of ( US$850,000.00 ) cashable anywhere in the world, five hundred thousand dollars United States Dollars Only.
My dear friend I will like you to contact my account officer in Benin via his direct email address at: ( email@example.com ) for the collection of your Bank draft cheque, his names are: Mr. George Davis, I authorized him to release the cheque to you whenever you contact him regarding for it. At the moment, I'm very busy with my partner because of the investment project which I and my new partner are having at hand. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart, Also comply with George Davis directive so that your money can reach you without delay.
Note his contact again below:
Name: George V. Davis