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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Adams C. Joseph" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2018 15:33:08 +0300
Subject: Confidential Business Proposal!
I am Mr. Adams C. Joseph, Manager In charge of Foreign Remittance department of GOLDMAN SACHS INTERNATIONAL BANK (GSIB). The main reason for contacting you is to propose a business cooperation that will be of mutual benefit to both of us and requiring absolute trust and total confidentiality. To get down to brass tacks, I want you to accommodate a large volume of funds worth (US$70.5 Million) which I want to transfer from an abandoned account to your personal bank account, It is 100% risk free.
If you are interested in this proposition, kindly respond back to me through my Phone number: +1-651-448-9414 or (firstname.lastname@example.org) So I can give you further details and what is required for our trust, We will also negotiate an appropriate compensation for your efforts.
Mr. Adams C. Joseph.