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:
- "email@example.com" (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: "Reem E. A" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 21 May 2021 11:48:18 -0700
My name is Reem E. Al-Hashimi, the Emirates Minister of State and Managing Director of the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) World Expo 2020 Committee. I am writing to you to stand as my partner to receive my share of gratification from foreign companies whom I helped during the bidding exercise towards the Dubai World Expo 2020 Committee and also I want to use this fund to assist Coronavirus Symptoms and Causes.
I am a single Arab woman and serving as a minister, and there is a limit to my personal income and investment level. For this reason, I cannot receive such a huge sum back to my country or my personal account, so an agreement was reached with the foreign companies to direct the gratifications to an open beneficiary account with a financial institution where it will be possible for me to instruct further transferrals of the fund to a third party account for investment purposes which is the reason I contacted you to receive the fund as my partner for investment in your country.
The amount is valued at 47,745,533 Euros with a financial institution waiting my instruction for further transferral to a destination account as soon as I have your information indicating interest to receive and invest the fund, I will compensate you with 30% of the total amount and you will also get benefit from the investment.
If you can handle the fund in a good investment, reply to this email only: firstname.lastname@example.org