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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: ROBERT EGOGOH <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 02:00:51 -0400
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE FOR A CLAIM!!
I know this mail is coming to you as a surprise, but accept it because
am in a very difficult situation and I need your urgent help and assistance.
As you receive this mail I pray that you use your kind heart to help me.
I have one box containing ($10.500.000.00) Five million at the
International Airport in USA as I write this mail.This money was left
for me by my late parents during the war in my country and was
deposited in a trust
Company in Ghana .
Two weeks ago we made arrangement with a Diplomat to deliver the boxes
to Mr.Jan kohl who promised to receive the boxes, but since the arrival of
the Diplomat in USA all efforts to contact Mr.Jan kohl has failed. He
die of Covid Virus .This is why am contacting you to receive the boxes
for me after which I will want you to use the money for investment for
both of us.
I am ready to give you whatever percentage you wish to take after you
receive the boxes because you could be my last hope.
As soon as you are ready to assist me I will give you the contact of
the Diplomat in USA so that you can discuss with him on how to deliver the
box to you. And I will also give you the combination code to open the box.
I expect your urgent reply to relief me of the pains am going through
now. Thank you very much in anticipation of you reply.