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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Theodoros Ioannis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2022 12:45:01 -0800
Subject: COMPLIMENTS OF THE SEASON
I apologize for using this medium to contact you for such a huge
business proposal. This is because of the situation where my freedom
is violated and limited.
I was once the CEO of a multinational oil company and now retired. I
am in asylum because of political oppression of false allegations
leveled against me by nefarious politicians in my country.
Because of the Current Omicron Variant Crises that will surely plunge
the world economy into recession, I decided to make this move on time.
I want to go private to invest US58M through a neutral individual and
I will hand over the said amount to you if you agree to work with me
honestly. Advise on any sector you deem lucrative to invest in your
country so that I can forward the investment agreement for signing and
we can take it from there.