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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- me, please contact me as a matter of urgency by email: *email@example.com* kind regards, edwin cole (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: EC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2021 15:40:13 +0200
*Kindly treat this information confidentially*
I am Edwin Cole and I work as a private banking consultant for an
international investment bank. I am contacting you to share this
confidential deal with the best hope that we can cooperate together for our
I have the capacity to use my position in the bank, to secure a profile
addition on your behalf as an approved beneficiary in the bank's payment
database, in order to receive an immediate payment of Fifty Million-USD. I
have good intentions to collaborate with you, and to have the funds
profiled on you as a Payment Beneficiary which will then be transferred to
your nominated bank account. After transfer of the funds is completed to
your bank account, we will share the money together. You will then ensure
that I receive half of the total amount and you retain the other half to
yourself. There are no risks of any unsuccessful attempt.
If you are keen and capable of handling this deal with me, please contact
me as a matter of urgency by email: *email@example.com*