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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "blake"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 12.13.01 +0100
Subject: Good day
This message is directed to you for the purpose of a transaction that is worth £45,300,000.This transaction is completely legitimate and all legal documents will be provided which will cover you and the funds during the course of this transaction.
I am PAUL TUCKER by name, Deputy Governor Financial Stability, Bank of England. http://www.bankofengland.co.uk
If you are interested in this transaction, I will advise you send me an email with the following details to this email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Full Name :
The reason for these details to be released to me is for me to be sure I am not corresponding with the wrong person. Note that you are been contacted because of your family name and as such, I must be very sure someone else is not playing a fast one on either of us.
You may not know this but people like myself who have made tidy sums out of comparable situations run the
whole private banking sector. I am not a criminal and what I do, I do not find against good conscience, this
may be hard for you to understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates that I make this move. Such
opportunities only come once in a lifetime.
I ask that if you find no interest in this project that you should discard this mail. I ask that you do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is of no appeal to you, delete this message and forget I ever contacted you. Do not destroy my career because you do not approve of my proposal.
I am a family man and this is an opportunity to provide them with new opportunities. There is a reward for
this project and it is a task well worth undertaking. I have evaluated the risks and the only risk I have
here is from you refusing to work with me and alerting my bank.
If you would like to discuss further about this transaction that is in your family name as an inheritance that you
will benefit from, email me back only on this email address : email@example.com
Note: Do not respond to this email address you received this message from because my server has a problem to send mails and so, I send you with my relative's email. Endeavour to respond only to the email address stated above. Your response will be highly appreciated at this point because this money has been delayed for too long and I would like to finalize the transaction as soon as possible so that I can go ahead with my other client's issues I have at stake.