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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Done White" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2022 06:17:21 -0800
Subject: I have successfully transferred the fund.
Hello my good friend,
How are you doing, hope all is well with you? You may not understand
why this email message came to you, but if you do not remember me, you
might have received an email from me in the past regarding a
multi-million-dollar business proposal which we never concluded. I am
using this opportunity to inform you that the multi-million-dollar
business has been concluded with the assistance of another partner
from France who financed the transaction to a logical conclusion. I
thank you for your great efforts to our unfinished transfer of fund
into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you. I
want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund to my
new partner's account in France that was capable of assisting me in
this great venture. Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust
worthiness you showed during the course of the transaction. I want to
compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of
$350,000.00. I have left a Bank Draft for you worth $350,000.00
cash-able anywhere in the world, Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand
United States Dollars Only.
Kindly contact my account officer through this email address
(firstname.lastname@example.org) for the collection of your bank draft, her names
are: Mrs. Patricia Dennis, I have authorized her to release the Bank
Draft to you whenever you contact her regarding it. At the moment, I'm
very busy with my partner because of the investment project which I
and my new partner are having at hand. Please I will like you to
accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my
heart, Also comply with Mrs. Patricia's directive so that your DRAFT
can reach you without delay. Note her contact details below:
Name: Patricia Dennis
I did not forget your past efforts and attempts to help in receiving
the fund as requested of you in the past, now I'm rejoicing, so I and
my partner are giving you this, so that you can rejoice too. Don't
forward this message to anyone, contact Patricia direct.