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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "the consignment" (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)
- "30% for you " (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)
- "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 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: "Ms. Elizabeth Ibrahim" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2023 01:26:40 -0800
Subject: Greetings my friend,
Greetings my friend,
My name is Mr. Ahmed Issa, I have the opportunity of delivering the
excess left over funds of ($10.5million us) in your name through a
diplomatic means to any part of the world.
This fund is the excess of what my branch in which I am the regional
Director made deposit in a dormant account for the past ten years. I
have already submitted an approved End of the Year report to my Head
Office here in Burkina Faso and they will never know of this fund. I
have since then, placed this amount of $10. 500,000.00 in a SUSPENSE
ACCOUNT without a beneficiary.
As soon as you declare your wiliness to meet the bearer in any country
that will be convenient for you, I will proceed to the airline company
that will lift the consignment. Note that this money will be shared
between us to the ratio of 30% for you as my foreign partner while 10%
will be set aside for any expenses that we might in counter during the
actualization of this mutual benefiting business, while 60% will be
Waiting urgently to hear from you and also kindly send your reply
through my private email (email@example.com) as soon as possible.
Mr. Ahmed Issa.
Private email: firstname.lastname@example.org