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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Thomas Joe"<email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2021 08:05:58 +0200
Subject: Re: Hello
Haven found you listed in the World Trade Center Chambers of Commerce directory of my country, i find it pleasurable to offer you my partnership in business, for which purpose I have tried to call your telephone number several times but
it seems disconnected or changed, I only hope at this time that your address is still valid.
I am contacting you regarding a brief for the Investment of Twenty Million US Dollars in your country. I am presently interested in investing in your country but never before have I done business in your country. I find it imperative to solicit for a partnership.
Hence upon receipt of this letter, I implore you to kindly respond and let me know how possible it is to work with you in mutual partnership under the conditions that,
1. My fund is held securely.
2. I am willing to invest immediately.
3. I will pay you a commission of 30% of the investment for logistics and protocols.
4. I desire absolute confidentiality in the handling and management of this brief.
I must let you know that I have kept the information herein this letter stated brief; as I do not know if you will receive this letter or what your response will be, If you do have the interest and the capability to partner with me under the above stated conditions, i will appreciate your response sent back to me by email, firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to your response and partnership. Have a nice day.