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:
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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. Micheal Jones" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2021 11:40:34 +0100
Subject: Dearly Beloved In Christ
I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting that fund transferred
under the cooperation of a new partner from Paraguay. Presently I'm in
Paraguay for investment projects with my own share of the total sum.
Meanwhile,I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in
transferring those funds despite that it failed us some how.
Now, I want you to contact my secretary, her name is Ms Angela Ugorji and
her email address is: (firstname.lastname@example.org), ask her to send to you a
total sum of $2,500,000.00 (Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand United
States Dollars) which I kept for your compensation for all the past efforts
and attempts you did to assist me in the transaction. I appreciated all
your efforts at that time, that was why i decided to compensate you now.
Please contact Ms Angela Ugorji and instruct her on how to send the amount
Please do let me know immediately you receive the money so that we can
share the joy after all the suffering we undergo at that time. In the
moment, I am very busy here because of the investment projects which I and
my new partner are having at hand. finally, remember that I had forwarded
instruction to my secretary on your behalf in order for you to receive that
money, so feel free to get in touch with Ms Angela Ugorji on her email:
(email@example.com) and she will send the amount to you without any
Mr. Micheal Jones