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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: Ellen Minkailu Bah <OSCLS1@outlook.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2021 11:18:31 +0000
Subject: Your attention please from Miss Ellen!
Please permit me to write to you irrespective of the fact we've not met before. I came across your e-mail contact prior to a private search while in need of an assistance. I am Miss. Elizabeth S. Minkailu Bah, the only biological daughter of Late Dr. Minkailu Bah, who served as minister of education, science and technology in my country Sierra Leon. My father of blessed memory was a Lecturer and a Sierra Leona politician who served as I mentioned above as minister of education, science and technology in Sierra Leon.
My father passed on in the early hours of Monday, May 18, 2020. Based on his instruction I ran to South Africa where I am presently seeking asylum under the United Nations High Commission for Refugee. I am a single girl and 24 years old.
Before the death of my father, he told me that he has the sum of (Seven million, five hundred thousand United State Dollars).USD ($7.500, 000, 00) left in a fixed / suspense account in South African bank with my name as next of Kin. He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned by his business associates. He gave me a contact details of a renowned lawyer in South Africa that I should meet regarding the funds.
I have also met with the lawyer but for some reasons I don't want to invest the money here coupled with the fact that I am seeking refugee here. I have discussed this with the lawyer and she agreed with me and promised to assist in procuring the transfer rights of the funds to any person I chooses as my partner.
It was for this reason I contacted you to partner with me in receiving the funds in your account overseas. I am willing to negotiate an investment/business profit sharing ratio with you based on the future investment earning profits. If you are willing to handle this project on my behalf kindly reply urgently to enable me to provide you more information about the transaction. For security reasons, please reply through the following email address:- email@example.com
Your Urgent Response Will Be Appreciated.
Miss. Elizabeth S. Minkailu Bah