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:
- ",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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Francis John" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2023 13:59:58 -0000
Subject: RE: Good Day
I sent you an email regarding my “deceased Client” recently
to this your email address, I was wondering if you had a chance
to peruse through it? I understand that you are busy, but I would
appreciate it if you could review this brief message and respond
to me as quickly as possible.
My name is Francis John of the Global Financial Consultant.
This proposal is strictly based on trust, a political class
whose name was withheld from the Island due to strict note
he left behind after his death. He left behind €55,000,000.00
(Fifty Five Million Euros) for his retirement, he later died
of Corvid in 2019.
He had no next of Kin and I am contacting you today because
you can inherit this fortune through some legal procedures if
you can play the role of his next of Kin.
If you accept this proposal half of the amount €55,000,000.00
(Fifty five Million euro) will be transferred to you via wire
transfer while the other half will be for the lawyer and I.
If you are interested, kindly get back to me urgently so that
I can explain to you all the relevant details for us to proceed
with the legal binding documents.
I look forward to your quick response. Kindly reply to this my
private email address firstname.lastname@example.org with your
Global Financial Consultant