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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- contact mr.ramos castro and his emai address:email@example.com and he will give full details how to receive your (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Mustapha Izumbe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2019 10:46:06 -0700
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam
This is Mr.Mustapha Izumbe from Burkina Faso, How are you and your family?
You may not know me again, but I contacted you previously concernin
transferring ($5.850 Million USD) Five Million, Eight Hundred and
Fifty Thousand USD into your account. You agreed to help me but later
opted out because you said you will not pay any upfront money. I want
to inform you that I have successfully transferred the money to
someone else who was capable of assisting me. Due to your
effort,sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed during the
course of the transaction I want to compensate you and show my
I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting the fund
transferred with the cooperation of a new partner from America who is
an international business man. Presently I'm in far away for
investment projects with my own share of the total sum.
I am using this opportunity to thank you for your great effort to our
unfinished transaction from the bank, although i was able to complete
this transaction without your help but I still feel like compensating
you with the sum of $820.000.00 USD, Eight Hundred & Twenty Thousand
USD for your effort,please contact Mr.Ramos Castro and his emai
address:email@example.com and he will give full details how
to receive your $820.000.00 USD into your account.
Name. Mr.Ramos Castro