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)
- "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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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. Payton Rupali" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 21 May 2021 23:24:31 -1200
Subject: DEAR FRIEND
My name is Mr. Payton Rupali. I am working with one of the prime banks
in Burkina Faso. Here in this bank existed a dormant account for many
years, which belonged to one of our late foreign customers. The amount
in this account stands at $13,300,000.00 (Thirteen Million Three Hundred
Thousand US Dollars).
I want a foreign account where the bank will transfer this fund. I know
you would be surprised to read this message, especially from someone
relatively unknown to you. But, do not worry yourself so much. This is a
genuine, risk free and legal business transaction. All details shall be
sent to you once I hear from you.
I was very fortunate to come across the deceased customer's security
file during documentation of old and abandoned customerâs files for an
official redocumentation and audit of the year 2021.
If you are really sure of your sincerity, trustworthiness,
accountability and confidentiality over this transaction, reply back to
me urgently through my private email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Payton Rupali