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:
- "dormant 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 next of kin scam.
- 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: "Mr. Handase Ebbe" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2022 11:13:58 +0100
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE
My name is Mr. Handase Ebebe. I am working with one of the prime banks
here in Burkina Faso. Here in this bank existed a dormant account for
many years, which belong to one of our late foreign customer Mr.
Moises Saba Masri from Mexico.
You can get more information's as regards to this on below
When I discovered that there had been neither deposits nor withdrawals
from this account for this long period, I decided to carry out a
system investigation and discovered that none of the family member or
relations of the late person are aware of this account, which means
nobody will come to take it.
The amount in this account stands at $18,300, 000.00 (Eighteen Million
Three Hundred Thousand USA Dollars). I want a foreign account where
the bank will transfer this fund, I will front you in the bank as the
Next of Kin to the late customer and back you up with relevant
What the bank need is proof and information about the late customer
which I will assist you on. his is a genuine, risk free and legal
business transaction, All details shall be sent to you once I hear
The information as contained herein be accorded the necessary
attention, urgency as well as the secrecy it deserves.
If you are really sure of your integrity, trustworthy and
confidentiality reply back to me urgently through my private email
here: ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Mr. Handase Ebbe