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:
- "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)
- ",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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: Barrister Datti Williams <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2022 23:29:52 -0700
Subject: GOOD NEWS
Please accept my apology for not contacting you earlier before now due
to my tight schedules. I did not forget your past effort and attempts
to assist me, now I'm happy to inform you that I have succeeded in
getting those Funds transferred under the co-operation of a new
partner from Japan.
Meanwhile, I did not forget your past efforts and attempts to assist
me in that process despite that it failed us at that time, due to no
trust. Now, I want you to contact my secretary, her name is Mrs Rose
Akam and email address is ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), Arrange with her on
how the total sum of two MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS (
$2,000,000,00USD ) will reach you safely which I have already kept for
your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me
in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much.
Please send the below information to him to enable him to get back to
1)FULL NAMES ....
(2) YOUR HOUSE ADDRESS ....
(3) PHONE NUMBER.......
Barrister Datti Williams (esq)