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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "contract award committee" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: "Mr. Craig Scott" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2022 16:23:18 +0800
Subject: INVESTMENT PROPOSAL
I am Mr. Craig Scott I am a director of contract award committee.
After due deliberation, I have decided to forward to you this business
proposal. As I said before I want a reliable person who could assist
me to receive the sum of Sixty Two Million Five Hundred United States
Dollars Only ($62,500,000.00) from the Finance House where it was
deposited , and also possible help me to invest the money on my
behalf. Reason I come out openly to deal with you is because I want to
build a relationship with you I donât just want to deal with everybody
or send message without knowing who am dealing with, and also I fine
you as a trustworthy person to handle the affair of this project.
This fund resulted from an over-invoiced bill from contracts awarded
by my committee under the budget allocation to my Ministry and this
bill has been approved for payment by the concerned Ministries years
The contract has since been executed, commissioned and the contractor
was paid the actual cost of the contract amount agreed on. I am left
with the balance US$62,500,000.00 as part of the over-invoiced amount
which I have deliberately over estimated for my own use.
Furthermore please let me know if you are willing to partner with me
as I will give you 30% of the total amount, which is of $18,750,000.00
United States Dollars.
Let me know if you are willing to partner with me to enable me send
full details and some documents relating to these funds.
Inclusion I will release the details of the director of the Finance
House , I will secure the legal documents that will put you in the
position of the owner of these funds, and also to enable you meet the
director of the Finance House for the release of the funds to you.
More details will be release to you as soon as I receive your reply.
I look forward hearing from you.
Mr. Craig Scott.