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 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Tibo Abdullah <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2021 21:10:23 -0600
Subject: PLEASE, READ CAREFULLY AND REPLY URGENTLY
How are you doing today,
Am happy to inform you today that I've successfully transferred that
funds with the help of a new partner from Kuwait. Presently I'm in
Kuwait at the moment for an oil investment project with my new
partner, but I've kept an ATM DEBIT VISA CARD that contains USD $
2,500,000.00. (Two Million, Five hundred Thousand United State
Dollars), as a compensation to you for all you did for me during that
time I was trying to transfer the funds some years ago.
I did not forget your efforts that time,as you really tried for me,
hence, am sending you this fund as a compensation through a secure ATM
Card which you can use to withdraw the Fund at any ATM Machine in any
location Worldwide, with maximum daily limit amount of USD $ 15,000.00
(Fifteen Thousand United States Dollars). So, please quickly contact
Rev. Father Michael sawadogo in Burkina-Faso. He is the one that
contacted his friend from Kuwait so contact him through the below
information,so that he will send the ATM Card to you without delay.
Name: Rev. Father Michael sawadogo
Email address: (email@example.com)
At the moment, I may not have access to communicate fluently with Rev.
Father Michael sawadogo or anyone due to the oil investment project I
have at hand here in Kuwait which is consuming all my time, but I left
him an instruction for your contact OK. This is your PIN CODE of the
ATM DEBIT VISA CARD (Pin-6670) and so it is only the card that Rev.
Father Michael will be sending to you.
Good luck and thank you so much for everything. I wish that you use
the funds wisely.