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:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ali Ahmed" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2021 03:06:15 -0700
Subject: Re: Private Deal Placement Investment.
Attention : Sir/Madam,
I write to you based on a request by an investor and his need for an
investment in your country. My name is ALI AHMED, a private financial
consultant with a reputable financial services and consulting firm
based here in London. Our services are explicitly available to high
esteemed individuals mostly from the Asian and Arab Nations as we have
a great financial arrangement within the United Arab Emirates, UAE,
My company most times represents the interests of very wealthy
investors, this is due to the Sensitivity of the position most of them
hold in their society and the unstable investment environment of their
country, they evacuate majority of their funds into more stable
economies and developed nations where they can get good yield for
A reserved Client of mine, whom I had personally worked with a few
years ago in a project has recently approached me on an exclusive
investment opportunity in excess of over US$320 Million Dollars for a
period of 5-10 years pending when he is out of his present political
appointment in his country. This will be in form of a silent and
Private deal Placement Investment.
I shall disclose further potential information regarding this
deal/project on hearing from you and also the terms and condition
shall be made known to you for your knowledge.
Mr. Ali Ahmed
For: Allied Investment & Consulting Services