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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Riaan Mathews" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:16:11 +0200
Subject: BANK INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP!!
ATTN: CEO / Managing Director,
It is my pleasure to contact you discreetly as to discuss a mutually benef=
icial business; I will want to have your trust and to go into partnership i=
nvestment with you which must be built on confidentiality between us. I am =
the Contract Award Director of with a South African Government Department; =
my office is in charge of awarding contracts to international contractors, =
building and handling of government contract throughout the country.
I am in the position to transfer the sum of US$17M of which I have written=
a memo informing the Government that this fund belongs to a Contractor wai=
ting to be paid his contract sum; I want to transfer and invest this fund i=
nto your company as an investment fund from South Africa to your country. T=
he fund will be shared on the ratio of 60-40%; 40% for you on the assistanc=
e rendered. Please note that this fund will not be investigated or recalled=
in the near feature as all document to move this fund to your account will=
be legally obtained. You are to send me your company's name and address wi=
th your banking details where you want the fund to be transferred to.
As soon as you agree to my proposition, I will send you my number to reach=
me. I want you to keep this private to yourself.
Be assured that this is a legitimate fund and will be transferred legitima=
Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.
Mr. Riaan Mathews
Office eMail:: email@example.com
Tel/Wassp:: 27:71 700 7449
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