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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
by HZDFYD.com MailServer with ESMTP by
mail.xsedu.zj.cn Thu, 23 Jun 2011 19:26:52 GMT
Subject: Get Back To Me!!!
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 20:26:01 +0200
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000
My name is David Booth, I am 23 years of age and live here in Glebe court Lewisham United Kingdom. I am contacting you in respect of my late fathers $18.5 million which he deposited here with Security Company here in UK before his sudden death last year december. My father was shot dead at the eve of last christmas and from all indication those that killed him was his business associates who wanted to take over his business empire.
Right now the same people who killed my father are now after my life, I have escaped two guns shut in our private home here in lewisham. I am the only son of my late father and do not know where to run to at this moment. As I speak to you right now, I am currently sleeping from one hotel to another to avoid them getting at me. Please I need your assistance to help me secure this $18.5 million my late father deposited with Security Company into your country private bank account so that once this fund is transferred to your account; I will quickly relocate to your country.
I have spoken to the officials of my late fathers bank and they are ready and waiting for me to present them with any bank account information of my choice where I would want them to re-transfer the $18.5 million to after I presented them with all the documents of the funds deposit. Please I need your urgent assistance to secure this fund in your country I promise that once this fund is secured in your account, I will give you 15% out of the total sum for your assistance.
Please if you are interested to assist me, I will like you to provide me with all your contact details such as, your full names, your contact address, your contact telephone number, your age and what you do for a living and finally any bank account information of your choice where you would want the Security Company to transfer the funds to or if you would like them to bring the money in cash to your country.