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)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Engr. Mustapha Yakubu" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2021 07:17:26 -0700
Subject: GOOD NEWS
I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting the fund
transferred to a Swiss Account with the cooperation of a new partner
from Denmark who is an international business man. Presently I'm in
Indonesia for investment projects with my own share of the total sum.
Meanwhile, I did not forget your past efforts and attempts to assist
me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us somehow.
Now contact my secretary with this information below:
Name: Mullen Jessica
Phone: +234 901 959 0139
Ask her to send you the total sum of $1,500.000.00 USD (One million,
five thousand USD) which I kept for your compensation for all the past
efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter. I appreciated your
efforts at that time very much. So, feel free to get In-touch with my
secretary Mullen Jessica and instruct her where to send the amount to
you. Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can
share the joy after all the sufferings at that time.
In the moment, I am very busy here because of the investment projects
which I and the new partner are having at hand. Finally, remember that
I had forwarded instruction to my secretary on your behalf to receive
that money, so feel free to get in touch with Mullen Jessica, and she
will send the amount to you without any delay.
Engr. Mustapha Yakubu