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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: john white <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2021 07:46:40 -0700
Subject: Please I urgently need you to help
I am John White of the U.S Army force and one of the Commanding officers of the U.S Central Command here in Syria.
Please I urgently need you to help me safeguard the amount of money I have here in my possession which is worth the sum of eleven million five hundred thousand US Dollars
I came across this mega cash while on operation, as we were on massive attack against the ISIS terrorists group, but minding how horrible and risky it is here in this military camp, I deemed it necessary to look out for a trusted fellow whom would assist me in safeguarding the cash until I get out of this horrible zone. It was on this effect that I started search here online for an honest person whom I can trust to help me safeguard the cash and I came across your mail address and i want to know if you are willing to do this deal.
i want you to know that i am willing to offer you 40 Percent of the total amount which is $11.5 million dollars, if you do help me safeguard this money and out of here.
I will email you the details on how i plan of moving the cash out of this place as soon as i receive your response
Please get back to me ASAP
CAUTION: This email originated from outside of our organization. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe