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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "i have a new email address!" (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Anthony Ogbego <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2009 20:51:55 -0800 (PST)
Subject: URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL.
I have a new email address!You can now email me at: email@example.com
- DEAR FRIEND. PLEASE, I WANT TO INTRODUCE MY SELF ON THIS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY TO YOU, MY NAME IS MR ANTHONY OGBEGO. A BANK ACCOUNTANT.I WISH TO KNOW IF WE CAN WORK TOGETHER. I WOULD LIKE YOU TO STAND AS THE NEXT OF KIN TO MY DECEASED CLIENT WHO MADE SOME DEPOSITS OF $10,000,000.00 TO MY BANK. HE DIED WITHOUT ANY REGISTERED NEXT OF KIN AND AS SUCH THE FUNDS NOW HAVE AN OPEN BENEFICIARY MANDATE.IF YOU ARE INTERESTED PLEASE TRY AND GET BACK TO ME SO THAT I CAN GIVE YOU COMPREHENSIVE DETAILS ON WHAT WE ARE TO DO, I URGENTLY HOPE TO GET YOUR RESPONSE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BEST REGARDS,MR ANTHONY OGBEGO