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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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 business is hitch free " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Kazim.Zongo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2021 23:44:36 +0000
Subject: URGENT REPLY NEEDED.
Greetings with due respect,
Please permit me to introduce you to a business proposal worth $ 15.8
Millions US Dollars (Fifteen Million Eight Hundred Thousand United
States Dollars) and 120kg of Gold Bars that will help us and our
generation to come. I am Kazim.Zongo, a bank account manager under
foreign remittance department (UBA) Bank Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, I
discovered an abandoned account documents that belong to a late client
of the bank, a foreigner business magnate from Italy who died March
2020 during the period of Coronavirus â Covid-19 along with his wife
and a daughter during their holiday visit to Italy.
The account has no next of kin, as the only daughter and wife died on
the same incident. I need your Mutual Respect, Trust, Honesty &
Transparency, kind support and assistance. This business is hitch free
and I assure you that you are 100% safe in this transaction. For more
info, e-mail via, (email@example.com), please this is urgent,
call me once you are interesting and ready to proceed with me; +226
Kindly confirm your information:
9.Your Private Email id:..........
I am waiting to hear from you soon.