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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Dr. Samuel Hoggs" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2023 20:03:13 +0100
Subject: Matters for you.
How are you today? I hope you and your family are okay? I hope this
email is in excellent health. But if you don't remember me, you
received an email from me in the past about a multi-million dollar
business proposal that we never closed. I take this opportunity to
inform you that this multi-million dollar deal was closed with another
trader who financed it to a logical conclusion. Thank you for his
great commitment to our unfinished transaction, for one reason or
another better known to you at the time. Due to the effort, sincerity
and reliability that you have shown in the course of the transaction,
I want to compensate you and show you my gratitude with the sum of six
hundred and seventy five thousand US dollars. I have left you a
certified international bank check for $675,000.00 USD, collectible
anywhere in the world. My dear friend, please contact Reverend Esther
Moses, so that she can give you the draft. I am very busy right now
and would like you to accept this commitment in good faith as it comes
from the bottom of my heart. Their contact information is below.
NAME: Reverend. Esther Moses, from the Catholic parish, Adidogome, LomÃ©-Togo.
PHONE: +228 (70) 7693-29.
CONTACT EMAIL: email@example.com
Therefore, you must contact her and ask her to give you her draft
because I have instructed her to do so.
Dr. Samuel Hoggs