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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Pierre Bauer <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2021 15:31:23 -0600
Subject: My Dear Friend !...
My Dear Friend,
It is my humble pleasure to solicit your strictest confidence in this transaction. My name is: Pierre Bauer, the financial director of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy UK. I am the officer in-charge of offshore remittances to contractors / beneficiaries. We are seeking your assistance to transfer the sum of Forty Seven Million, Eight Hundred Thousand British Pound (GBP 47,800,000.00) to your account for private Investment.
This amount accrued from an Over-invoiced Contract amount for the Construction of an Oil Refinery Sub- station from 2016 to 2019 to expatriate Companies.
The contract was originally valued for One Hundred Million British Pound (GBP100,000,000.00) but we over-invoiced the figure to read GBP 147,800,000.00. Therefore, we have perfected plans to quickly TRANSFER the extra GBP 47,800,000.00 to your Bank Account.
This contract has been completely executed and the original Contractors have been paid all their Contract Bills less this GBP 47,800,000.00 through our partner Banks in UK, United States and Europe.
We shall forward your personal details to the Legal Department of the Bank for the Payment process of the balance GBP 47.8 Million.
Be rest assured that all modalities are set for smooth execution of this viable transaction.
Reply to this E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to your respond to proceed.