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:
- "million united states 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Benjamin Franklyn" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2020 14:23:23 +0100
Subject: Urgent Attention Needed.
Full Name: Mr. Benjamin Franklyn
Email address: email@example.com
Trust this message meets you well.
My name is Mr Benjamin Franklyn, a financial Consultant with Amcham Private Portfolio managers and Investment Services.
I represent the interests of very wealthy individuals across the Middle East and Africa. I have a lady who formerly occupied a sensitive position in the Oil & Gas sector of the government of her country.
She is a high net worth individual and looking for possible partners or a partner that would help her to move the majority of her funds to a more stable economy for a decent return on investment.
I am writing to you to know if you have good projects that needs financial back up of up to Three Hundred and Fifty Million United States dollars in cash, typically in exchange for a good (ROI) Return on Investment over a period of first Five years renewable. The remuneration to potential partner is quite attractive, it can be up to 20% but open for negotiations.
Please contact me urgently with my above email address if you have the capacity, interest and have any questions
regarding how to move forward.
Mr Benjamin Franklyn.