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:
- 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:
- ",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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Nastac Elisabeta Bayarmaa" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2021 14:58:05 -0700
Subject: Re: 14/04/2021
Hello beloved friend,
I am Mrs. Nastac Elisabeta Bayarmaa, a senior banker here in Spain! it's my wish to solicit your assistance in this transaction.
I have on my desk an abandoned sum of 15,500,000.00 (Fifteen Million Five Hundred Thousand Euros) that belongs to a deceased customer who died of COVID-19.
This will be of great benefit to both of us and I cannot achieve this without your support. Therefore, I need your cooperation for us to receive this fund after which you will be eligible for 50% of the total amount, while 50% will be mine. There is no risk involved because the deceased did not mention any Next of Kin when the account was opened.
kindly respond for more details information on how we are going to handle this business transaction and please delete if you are not interested.
Mrs. Nastac Elisabeta Bayarmaa
Phone: +34 63132 8613