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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "a reliable and reputable person to handle this" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr P John Peter <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 21 May 2021 08:23:44 -0700
Subject: Dear Friend
I am Mr. P John Peter manager director of South Indian bank) I came to
know of you in my private search for a reliable and reputable person to
handle this confidential business which require maximum confidence.
I need assistances from you transferring out a sum of $18.5million USD to
your account that belongs to one of our late foreign customer who died a
longtime with his supposed NEXT OF KIN since the year 2008.
The fund has been here in our Bank lying dormant for years now without
anybody coming for the claims of it as the deceased relation. I want to
release the money to you as the relative to our deceased customer, the
Banking laws here does not allow such money to stay more than 15years and
the fund will be recalled to India government account as unclaimed fund.
I am ready to share with you 50% for you and 50% for me, by indicating your
interest I will send you the details on how the business will be executed
without any hitch.
I will be waiting for your urgent response including your mobile that is in
what sap for easy communication. Here is my mobile number email
firstname.lastname@example.org what Sapp as well. +918447604592
Yours truly Mr. P John Peter