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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Tamer El Sawey <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2021 22:34:09 +0000
Subject: Dear Friend
My Dear Friend,
I am Mr.Aharon Ozymandias,from Burkina Faso
and i am the new bank telex manager of our bank here in Africa.
I came across your email while i was making research,
I have the opportunity to transfer the sum of US$ 19.5Million to your
bank account which i viewed after making research as an abandomed fund here.
I must tell you that after revision of files both old and new as the
new telex manager ,i discovered that if these funds remains here
without transferring it offshore,it will be lawfully recovered and
moved to the Government of Burkina Faso treasury as an abandoned
funds without any name.
I want to let you know that a Burkinabe cannot stand as the depositor
of these US dollars since we are not allowed to operate on foreign
currency. I do not intend to work and stay in Africa till the rest of
I have every details to make my beleive yopu for the transaction of this funds
I will furnish you with more details of this transfer and how it can
be perfectly and legally executed without any hitch since i am now in
control.Reply to this email address(firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am waiting to hear from you urgently to proceed.