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:
- "million 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)
- "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: "MRS NIKI NKEMA" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 May 2021 08:11:02 +0200
Subject: MY DEAR GOOD FRIEND!!!
MY DEAR GOOD FRIEND!!!
THIS IS TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORT. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR HANDS WERE TIED. DO NOT WORRY. I HAVE SUCCEEDED; THE MONEY HAS BEEN
TRANSFERRED INTO THE ACCOUNT PROVIDED BY A NEWLY FOUND FRIEND OF MINE IN JAPAN.
TO COMPENSATE FOR YOUR PAST ASSISTANCE AND COMMITMENTS I HAVE DROPPED AN INTERNATIONAL BANK DRAFT OF $1.7 MILLION US DOLLARS FOR YOU. I AM
IN JAPAN WITH MY FAMILY PRESENTLY.
I DO INTEND TO ESTABLISH SOME BUSINESS CONCERNS HERE AND POSSIBLE BUY SOME PROPERTIES.CONTACT MY SECRETARY MR.SAMUEL OBBETT EMAIL HIM WITH
THIS EMAIL ADDRESS:(email@example.com) FORWARD MY MAIL TO HIM, AND THEN ASK HIM TO SEND THE BANK DRAFT TO YOU. TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF
MRS NIKI NKEMA
CONTACT MY SECRETARY FOR YOUR COMPENSATION OF $1.7 MILLION