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:
- "million united state dollars" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "Donald Cassidy" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2010 04:08:11 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Hello Dear,
I am Donald Cassidy only Son of late Mr. James Cassidy from Zimbabwe I am 19 years old, before the death of my late father in my Country's political Crisis he deposited the sum of ($2,000,000,00 million United State Dollars) in one of the Banks in Ivory Coast for establishment of new farms and animal feeds producing factory but now that he is dead I want to invest this money In your Country in any good business but I need you to help me receive this money in your account as my foreign business partner, I will offer you 15% of the total money for your kind assistance to me after the successful transfer of the money to your account. Reply me on (email@example.com) or call +22557009654, for more clarifications before we continue the transfer of the money to your bank account, Please read this news in website so that you will understand exactly what I am telling you (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/918781.stm) Looking forward to your urgent reply