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:
- 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.Patrick Joseph" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2021 06:30:06 -0700
Subject: Kindly Read My Proposal Carefully And Get Back To Me!
Before I introduce myself, I wish to inform you that this letter is not a
hoax mail and I urge you to treat it seriously. My name is Mr.Patrick
Joseph, of the Claims Department with a bank here in Burkina Faso, West
Africa. I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit both of
us, which involves $16.5million dollars. After you have been made the next
of kin of the fund and the funds will be transferred to a foreign account
of yours and you will have 40% as your share of the total funds and 5% will
be used to pay back expenses incurred from both ends in the process of the
transfer to your account.
Kindly Contact me for more details.