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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (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: juliet phillips <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 22 May 2021 07:13:55 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend,
Having viewed your status on-line which motivated me that you can be a
trusted person,i am contacting you in respect to my late husband s
fund worth of US 18 Million deposited with ATLANTIQUE BANK BENIN
REPUBLIC,for safe keeping purposes.But right now my husband is dead
and the financial firm has been giving me several notifications to
make the claim of the said deposit. I want a situation whereby i will
present you as my Executor to the bank so that you assist me to make
the claim of this fund from the financial firm so that it will be
transferred to your custody pending my arrival with my only daughter
to your country so that we can use it judiciously for investment
My only daughter will continue her education in your country upon our
arrival once every arrangement as regards this transaction is
concluded.I will be offering you 20% of the fund for your foreign
assistance as long as you can help me
out in carrying out this project effectively without insinuating greed
and selfishness. I am contacting you in this respect for the below purposes,
1,To avoid awareness of my late husbands relatives because they would
like to inherit it alone if i dare disclose it to them because they
said that i do not have a male child for my late husband without
considering the welfare of me and my only daughter.
2,To avoid awareness of Benin Republic Government about the fund since
my husband was a former politician in Benin. Once i receive your
positive response,i will give you more details as to enable us proceed.
Contact Email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mrs Juliet Phillips