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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Abdul Kamara <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2021 09:04:38 -0700
Subject: LETTER OF APPRECIATION !!!
Dear Sir/Madam ,
I am Abdul Kamara,23 years old son of Late Mr. Mohamad Kamara, Sierra Leone politician who served with The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum for 12 Years, My father and Mother was assassinated by his Political rival during election in my country, I am writing to you about my desire to relocate, study and make donations of funds amounting to US$ 47.3 Million that I inherited from the will of my late father for investment purpose in your country.
Presently I am seeking asylum under the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees Accra Ghana because my life is being threatened in my country.
Please If you can kindly help me with the funds transfer, I will go in agreement with you and 30% will be to your benefit.
Await your soonest response.