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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "President Hosni Mubarak" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 07:12:03 -0800
Subject: Letter from President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.
My contacting you through this medium is due to the urgency and confidentiality of this message; I want to make you an offer
so that you can assist me.
I resigned as the Egyptian President on the 11th of Feb 2011, please go through this:
I know very well that the new government will be after all the moneys with me, and as such, I dont want to lose all. I have
some deposited amount of money In Bank In New York, which I will like you change the ownership to you and have the money
moved immediately to you in your country in Cash (US$56Million) through a high Diplomatic Service.
Once you have received this first part, I will move another to you, but I want you to assure me that you can handle this
easily, as I will take care of all the documentation here and the cost here. What you are to take care of is just the
delivery and handling charges/fee once they have arrived your country.
You are receiving 30% of the total amount, so please urgently reply with your full contact information and as well as a copy
of your ID to assure me that you are not going to run with my money.
Please reply and notify me of your interest with your, Full Name, Your Contact Address, Your direct telephone Number.
I am waiting.
President Hosni Mubarak