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: Essam Sheta <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2021 05:27:00 -0600
Subject: PROJECT PROPOSAL
I write to you based on a request by an investor who wants to invest his
funds in your country, because of your country's relatively calm
business environment and stability. My name is Essam Sheta, a finance
I most at times represent the interests of very wealthy personalities.
Due to the sensitivity of the position they hold in their various
societies and the unstable business environment of their countries, move
majority of their funds into more stable economies and developed nations
where they can get good yield for their money.
A reserved Client, whom I had personally worked with few years ago with
a proposal, recently approached me. What he requested is that I seek for
a business partner in your country, who will be willing to lead us to
profitable investments. We are ready to work with you as joint partners
or release the fund to you as loan with very attractive interest and
long term repayment period depending on what you want.
I will give you more details as soon as I hear from you.NB: also send
your response to: email@example.com