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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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: "Mrs. Aminata Zongo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2022 11:08:48 +0100
Subject: Greetings to you!
I am Mrs.Amanita Zongo, a personal Accountant/Executive board of
Directors working with United bank for African Burkina Faso (UBA). I
have an interesting business proposal for you that will be of immense
benefit to both of us. Although this may be hard for you to believe,
we stand to gain a huge amount between us in a matter of days. Please
grant me the benefit of doubt and hear me out. I need you to signify
your interest by replying to my mail
Honestly, I have a business transaction worth the sum of
(US$8,200,000.00) Eight Million two hundred thousand united States
dollars to transfer to you through proper documentation in the
position of your own Account.
Most importantly, I will need you to promise to keep whatever you
learn from me between us even if you decide not to go along with me. I
will make more details available to you on receipt of a positive
response from you. This transaction is risk-free; please urgently
confirm your willingness and interest to assist in this deal, I am in
good faith and with trust waiting for your Urgent response and maximum
cooperation for more details.
Mrs. Aminata Zongo.
Email: ( email@example.com )