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:
- 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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "SENATOR SPEELMAN SIDNEY" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2021 10:01:50 -0800
Subject: CONSULTATION LETTER !!!
I got your contact while searching for a Foreign Partner/Investor in your country,My name is Dr Speelman Sidney Sipo born February 18th 1966 a Ghanaian Politician who has served in the Government of Ghana at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum since 2006 to 2018,I am a member of the National Democratic Congress and Member of Parliament of Ellembelle constituency in the Western Region Ghana.
My aim of contacting you is to crave your indulgence to assist me in securing some funds abroad for safekeeping and investment purpose, which incidentally was kept to finance the coming election in December 7 2024,The need to contact you arose from the fact that the present government is cracking down on the opposition and trying to trace all the funds that belong to it, if they succeed in tracing this funds they will seize it and this will affect our campaign ability so I wish to relocate this funds in a foreigner's name to avoid any trace, All I need from you is an assurance that you can handle the amount involved (US$ 148,000,000.00)One Hundred and Forty Eight Million United State Dollars Only comfortably and that I can also trust you with this arrangement.
Be rest assured that there is no risk involved since I have taken care of everything, I want you to immediately inform me of your willingness in assisting and cooperating with me, so that I can send you full details of this transaction on how to received this funds, I am able to give you my name without fear, so it would be appreciated if you can maintain the confidential nature of this letter and the whole transaction.
Please if you are not interested in this business, let me know in time, so that I can contact someone else, if you are interested so that we can proceed fast.
Speelman Sipo Sidney