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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million us 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 email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: mr michel kafando <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2022 14:04:06 +0000
Subject: Dear Friend,
With due respect to your person and much sincerity of purpose,Well it is a
pleasure to contact you on this regard and i pray that this will turn out
to be everlasting relationship for both of us.Presently i work in the Bank
as bill and exchange manager.
I have the opportunity of transferring the left over fund $10.4 Million us
dollars to your Bank account, and i will use my position here in the bank
to effect a hitch free transfer of the fund to your bank account and there
will be no trace.I agree that 40% of this money will be for you as my
foriegn partner,50% for me while 10% will be for the expenses that will
occur in this transaction .If you are really interested in my proposal
further details of the Transfer will be forwarded unto you as soon as I
receive your willingness mail for successful transfer.