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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer into your 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)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Julius Kpako." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2021 11:38:36 -0700
Subject: Re:Business Partnership !!!
How are you and your family doing during this second wave of global pandemic?i hope you and your family are Safe?My name is Mr.Julius Kpako a branch manager of financial institution Ghana West Africa.I decided to contact you directly for an assistance.After several official inquiries from Country Searchable Directory,
I am interested to transfer and invest in your country through your assistance.I am in Ghana presently and I have the sum of Ten Million Eight hundred thousand US Dollars which I would like to transfer into your account and invest in your country if possible.
I made this money US$10,800,000.00 out of my branch office excess profit for the 2015 fiscal year.I choose you because I cannot be directly involve for I am still working with the bank as the Branch Manager,I hope you can understand my situation and assist me to receive and invest this money properly in your country.because this is my only hope.
Please all correspondence must be via my private E-mail for obvious security reasons: email@example.com