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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "million 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)
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Patrick Joseph" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2021 03:47:24 -0800
Subject: URGENT BUSINESS PROPOSAL
Although you might be apprehensive about my email as we have never met
before. I am Mr.Patrick Joseph,a Banker and Head of Operations with
Bank here in Burkina Faso West Africa, there is the sum of
$10.500,000.00 Million Dollars currently in my branch, there were no
beneficiary stated concerning these funds which means no one would
ever come to claim it. Can we work together?
I ask you can we work together, I will be pleased to work with you as
trusted person and see that the fund is transferred out of my Bank
into another Bank Account, Once the funds have been transferred to
your nominated Bank account your shall will be 40% of the total fund,
If you agree to my business proposal.further details of the transfer
will be forwarded to you as soon as i receive your return mail,
sending the below information:
1. Full Name.
2: Your Telephone Numbers.
4. Date Of Birth.
5. Country of Residence.
6.Your Full Address.
Awaiting your urgent reply
Mr. Patrick Joseph.