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:
- 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:
- "million united states 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "salim zaid" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2022 09:35:10 -0600
Subject: Greetings from Salim Zaid
I am Mr. Salim Zaid, Syria / English citizen and Principal assurance manager
in one of reputable firm in Europe. Mr. Mohammed Raji a staff of Saudi Kayan
Petrochemical Company got in touch with me on an investment which was placed
under our banks management some years ago.
I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail
confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a
result of this mail. I contact you independently of our investigation and no
one is informed of this communication. I would like to intimate you with
certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you.
In 2010, the subject matter; Mr. Mohammed Raji came to our bank to engage in
business discussions with our private banking division. He informed us that
he had a financial portfolio of $75,000.000. 00 (Seventy-Five Million United
States Dollars), which he wished to have us turn over (invest) on his
behalf. I was the officer assigned to his case;
I made numerous suggestions in line with my duties as the de-facto chief
operations officer, especially given the volume of Funds he wished to put
into our Bank. We met on numerous occasions prior to any investments being
placed. He later asks the Business to be close that he wants to move the
Funds to another country for investment.
The Funds was moved to a private Finance Company who were specialist Bank
that accepts deposits from high net worth individuals and blue chip
corporations that handle valuable products or undertake Transactions that
need immediate access to cash.
Contact me through my private e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for more
I look forward to your response to proceed if you are interested.