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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Citibank New York <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2021 04:29:10 -0800
Subject: Hi, My Name Is Amanda.
I am the only Daughter of my late parents Mr and Mrs Nelson Johnson.
My father was a highly reputable business magnate who operated in the
capital Of Benin Republic during his days. It is sad to say that he
passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips
abroad on the 12th September 2020. Though his sudden death was linked
or rather suspected to have been masterminded by an uncle of his who
traveled with him at that time. But God knows the truth! My mother
died when I was just 6yrs old, and since then my father has treated me
so special. Before his death on September 2020, he called me and
informed me that he has the sum of Five Million, Seven Hundred
thousand United State Dollars.(USD$15,700,000.00) left in a fixed
deposit account in one
of the leading banks in Africa. He further told me that he deposited
the money in my name, and also gave me all the necessary but legal
documents to this fund with the bank. I am just 21 years old and a
university undergraduate and really don't know what to do. Now I want
an account overseas where I can transfer these funds and after the
transaction I will come and reside permanently in your country till
such a time that it will be convenient for me to return back home if I
so desire. This is because I have suffered a lot of setbacks as a
result of the incessant political crisis here in Benin Republic. The
death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life. I also want to
invest the fund under your care because I am ignorant of the business
I am in a sincere desire for your humble assistance in this regard.
Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. Now permit me to
ask these few questions:
1. Can you honestly help me from your heart?
2. Can I completely trust you?
3. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good
for you after the money is in your account? Please, consider this and
get back to me as soon as possible. Immediately I confirm your
willingness, I will send to you my Picture and also inform you of more
details involved in this matter.
Miss Amanda Johnson.