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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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: "Zaher Abdulkareem" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2021 07:30:50 -0000
Subject: HAPPY NEW YEAR, WISHING YOU A PROSPEROUS AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR 2021 !.!
Greetings Dear Friend,
With much sincerity of purpose, I make this contact with you after satisfactory information we gathered from the Chamber of Commerce here in Iraq. I am a private staff for Haider J. Hamza a Senior Accountant back in my country and responsible for domestic and international personal matters of business for the mentioned person with various influence at the Ministry of Oil; I believe my proposal will interest you.
My boss have decided and instruct me to contact you secretly in view of transferring the sum of US$55.5M [Fifty Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars] only to your Company or Personal Account through the remittance Banks used by our country scattered all over the Western Countries and some A-list Banks in Asia. However total confidential and legal arrangement requires to be smoothly executed to have Funds either transferred or as to be determine by factors as our communication progresses.
This particular Fund is projected from an Over Invoiced contracted award to a Foreign Company who has long been paid and the over invoice remains dormant for many years now.
Since the completion and Payment has far exceed the period of six years; the constitution allows my principal to use his discretion and his candid returns in the past was turn in for personal gains by far superiors, hence he intends doing something for himself this time. As persons under government pay roll, it is indicting to openly take possession of such Funds which is where your assistance as the Foreign Contractor is highly required.
Among others; my principal we ensure Payment Approval from relevant offices for the release of the contract sum in favour of your Personal / Company details.
You are expected to furnish us with necessary details such as:
Your personal Name in full. Name and Address of your Company.
Proof of Tax Paid in your country for a minimum period of 1 year. (Personal Tax Payment Proof or Company Tax.
Payment Proof) is acceptable. The sharing mode as proposed by my principal is 35% for your company and 65% for him.
Reply to this E-mail: email@example.com
I anxiously wait to hear from you.