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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "into 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- great venture. have a nice day, desmond albert email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Consultant; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: DESMOND ALBERT <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2021 11:34:17 -0800
Subject: INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP
Good day sir, and how are you doing today? I guess you are doing fine.
My name is Desmond Albert from South Africa and I work with the South
African department of aviation as a contract evaluation officer.
My reason for contacting you is based on my interest in investment ventures
in your country and to know if we could partner together for our mutual
Secondly the sum of Fifteen million five hundred thousand dollars (US$15.5
MUSD) which emanate through an over invoice contract we awarded to a
foreign firm has been budgeted for the said investment plan, and the
contract has been completed and commissioned by the South Africa government
some years back so the over invoice sum has been approved to paid out to us
and having resolved to channel my own share into investment venture in your
country I will like my own share to be transferred out of South Africa to
your custody in your country and as soon as you confirmed the fund in your
account, I will make a proper plan to meet with you for proper discussion
to investment plan, so do let me know if you have the financial capability
to handle amount of such magnitude.
More so, as soon as you indicate your interest to work with me, I will use
my position here to procure all the relevant payment approval documents in
your name as a subcontractor with my department that will authenticate the
transfer of the fund into your nominated bank account in your country.
More details will be shared with you as soon as you indicate your interest
in this great venture.
Have a nice day,
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>