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 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: CHIMEZIE JOHN MADUEKE <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2022 14:03:16 +0100
My name is CHIMEZIE John Madueke, I got your contact from the chamber
of commerce as a good businessman and investor. My mother, Mrs.
Dieziani Alison-Madueke was the for Minister of Petroleum from April
2010 â 28 May 2015, and the most powerful official Under the
the former President of Nigeria, Mr. Goodluck Ebele Johnathan.
During my mother tenure in office, she was able to acquire millions of
dollars through deals done with several multinational oil corporations
using her office as the Minister of Petroleum. A lot of these funds
were invested and deposited in several offshore accounts several in
Africa, Europe and Middle East.
One of such investments is the acquisition of Gold mines and bullion
in excess of two hundred and fifty million dollars ($250,000,000.00)
in the Republic of South Africa and Europe.
As you can see from the current trend of events and change of
Government in Nigeria, the present administration and wicked enemies
of my mother is witch-hunting and accusing her of bribery and
corruption. She stands to loose it all if care is not taken. All that
we have suffered for. I reject it and will not stand by and watch this
Currently, my hard working mother is ill with cancer and battling for
her dear life in a London hospital. As if this is not enough suffering
already, the British Agency had arrested her for questioning on these
corruption charges, and she was released after some hours.
So read the news below:
I will want you to help me secure my mothers properties (fund) so that
we can invest it into your construction firm. Can you assist me? You
will be greatly rewarded. I believe we can do business together.
Please reply urgent via email address:
firstname.lastname@example.org for more vital information that will
guarantee fast conclusive success.
My best wishes,
CHIMEZIE JOHN MADUEKE