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:
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Andrena Da Silva." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2021 11:15:36 +0200
Subject: Thanks for Your Effort.
Hello good friend,
Good day and how are you today? I hope all is well with you and your family? I am using this opportunity to inform you that the multi-million dollar business that we both are working before has been finally concluded with the assistance of another partner from Iceland who financed the transaction to a logical conclusion. Due to your effort sincerity courage and trustworthiness You showed during the transaction even though it was then unfinished transfer of funds into your account due to one reason or the other and for my kind gesture. I have left an International Certified Bank Draft for you worth $3,750.000 USD} ( Three Million Seven Hundred Fifty Thousand United States Dollars Only) To show my appreciation for your past assistance and I must confess that you are truly a humble and sincere person.
However, I will gladly appreciate and remain happier wherever I am to hear that you have received your Certified Bank Draft, it will be a great honor to me because you deserve it. Also due to my new business establishment with my new partner in Iceland I will be very busy for a very long time kindly contact my Attorney now. Barr. Raphael O. Bassey With the below information to enable him to negotiate with the courier company for the delivery of your Bank Draft to you.
Contact person: Raphael O. Bassey Esq.
Therefore you should send him your full Name and telephone number/your correct mailing address where you want him to send the Bank Draft to you. This information is what will enable him to deliver the Certified Bank Draft to you as I have left instructions on your behalf.
Thanks for your past effort and God bless you and your family.
Hoping to hear from you.
Andrena Da Silva.
PS: Contact person: Raphael O. Bassey Esq.