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 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: Donald James <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 01:31:09 -0700
Subject: Greetings to you
I am Donald James, the Auditing and Accounting section manager in a
Bank , I have a business proposal of ( USD$22. Million US Dollars) to
your account for onward investment ( Hotel industries and Estate
building management, Factory and Textile Productions) or any
profitable Oriented business in your country.
All conformable documents to back up the claims will be made available
to you prior to your acceptance and as soon as I receive your return
mail. I Need you to stand as my foreign partner for investment in your
country and also next of kin to these funds am about to transfer to
To enable me start the process and remittance of the funds into your
bank account successfully within 10 banking days, I need the following
information from you by e-mail:
(1) Full Names:
(2) Residential Address:
(3) Country of Residence:
(5) Phone/Cell Number:
May Almighty God Bless You!
Mr. Donald James