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:
- ",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)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "offshore account" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Angela Griffith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2019 19:20:34 GMT
Subject: WE ALL NEED A PARTNER IN OUR LIVES.
Hey! Hello there!,
Good day to you. I guess you don't know me, and I know we cannot learn everything about each other in one day even if we meet for tea or coffee but texts, exchanging emails conversations and phone calls will drive us to a meeting point and things will be a lot easier when talking in person.
I am Angela by name, a US citizen. I am looking for a serious and long term relationship and I know that person can come from anywhere, regardless of where they are located or their background. I contacted you because I feel I can be safe in your hands. No matter how strong the wind is and whatever quake hits us. Our relationship will not waver. This was why I brought you here, to help do things that I have never done before in business.
I've been out of relationships for about one year and haven't had sex for that long as I was avoiding wrong person. I have not dated since I lost my father through unexpected loss of heart function in Burkina Faso on "16 June 2018" during his business trip of gold in Burkina Faso and are left with ($8,500,000.00) on his offshore account there. I believe we all need a partner in our lives at some point. Someone you can share your dreams and visions with, someone you can call your own and laugh with.
My late father used my name as his next of kin and the inheritor to the money before his death, and he left a WILL with his offshore bank there that restrained me from receiving the money here myself unless I got married or found someone from overseas who will help me and receive the money for onward investment under the person's control and management.
So it is on this basis that I am contacting you for assisting me to receive the money, I contacted the bank, and have also discussed the possible transfer of the fund, but the bank response was that I should look for someone to help me receive the money as instructed by my late father. I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards. Whether you can honestly help me as you would do to your own person?. I will like to invest this money into lucrative business but I need you to put me through.
I am seeking for your assistance to help me receive this money in your account abroad so that you can invest it in any meaningful and lucrative business of your choice because this is my only hope in life. I am willing to offer you 30% of the total fund if only you can help me out of my present predicament.