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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million pounds" (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)
- ",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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:58:43 -0430
Subject: MY REQUEST FOR PARTNERSHIP !!
From: Mr.George Scott,
Chief Auditor Lloyds Banking Group
Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN
My Name is Mr.George Scott, the Chief Auditor of Lloyds Banking
Group London-UK, former account officer to Mr. John Shumejda, an American
Citizen, who died in plane crash at Birmingham Airport on 4th Jan, 2002,
Before the death of Late John Shumejda, he maintained a fixed deposit
account with my Bank (Lloyds Banking Group London-UK) After our Auditors
meeting last week i discover the dormant account, I now seek your
permission and support to have you stand in as a next of kin to the Late
deceased, as all documentations will be carefully worked out by me for the
release of these funds, all amounting to the tune of
(£15,000,000.00).Fifteen Million Pounds Sterling). Only to any nominated
account of your choice.
I propose to offer of 40% of the total amount for your assistance after
the transfer has been Successfully concluded, if you are Interested. Please
reply immediately to my private email. (email@example.com)
Thanks and God bless.