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:
- "million dollars" (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)
- 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: " Justice Charles Hermas "<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2020 05:40:03 -0700
Good day.My name is Justice Charles Hermas. I am a lawyer and an independent investment broker.I currently administer a confidential investment portfolio and I broker on behalf of my client who would like to partner with you to invest huge capital amounts in projects on any of the following sectors in your country. The investor is interested in Real Estate, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Shipping & Logistics, Construction, Textiles, Information Technology, Pharmaceuticals, Oil & Energy Industries, Mining & Metals.The investor, wife of a deseased Covid-19 patient is proposing to partner with you so that you can receive the investment amount of 50 Million dollars in your account, and be compensated with a commission of 20% of the funds.If you are keen and capable of engaging with the investor in partnership, providing a suitable bank account for receiving and investing the funds in the sectors listed above, kindly do contact me as a matter of urgency by email: email@example.com .
I look forward to administering a successful investment partnership with you.
Justice Charles Hermas .