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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Julius Patterson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2022 10:55:18 +0000
Subject: Re: READ THIS CAREFULLY
I'm Dr. Julius Patterson working with the Damascus metropolitan hospital
here in Damascus Syria, I'm originally from the United Kingdom but working
with the United Nation as a Head doctor here. I am a 59 year old widower
with a son. I'm a simple and understanding man.
I pray this mail meets you in a good state of mind because I did pray to
God asking for a partner before contacting you.
Please may I indulge your audience over a transaction which I call " A LIFE
CHANGING DEAL" Some months ago, I struck a deal with a hospital in London,
United Kingdom. The supposed deal is about some medical equipment which
were to be brought to us here in Syria which I diverted because we already
have enough facilities in use. After my agreement with the hospital, we
agreed the total sum of $3,850,000.00 (THREE MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED AND
FIFTY THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) upon the arrival of the equipment.
Finally as God may have it the items were finally dispatched which they
have cleared already and all is in perfect condition. Now its about my
payment which is due. Because of the nature of my work as a Salary earner
under the UN, I'm not supposed to receive such an amount in my account
because it will raise an eyebrow due to my position.
All I want is your trust in humility and honesty to receive this money in
your account on my behalf until I come out of this place. I will offer you
30% of it when you receive the money, it will be a pure bank to bank
transfer from the U.S.A. bank to your bank in your city. All I want is your
sincere willingness to stand as my receiving partner. Then I will present
your account to the paying bank to enable them transfer the money into your
account without delay. I'm assuring you that this is a risk free deal
because the equipment have been recorded received here by us through my
paper work as the head and the supervising doctor over here
I will also send you copies of my identification as soon as I hear from you
for you to know who is communicating with you.
I will wait for your response as quickly as possible so that I can tell you
how we will achieve this goal, don't forget to ask me any question where
you don't understand.
Dr. Julius Patterson.