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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "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)
- 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 (Freemail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "mr.ibrahimalzaadim" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 14:13:29 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Dear good day,
Dear good day,
I am Mr.Ibrahim Al Zaabi, Branch Manager National Bank of Abu Dhabi(NBAD) married with two children. I am writing this letter to ask for your support and co-operation to carry out this business opportunity in my department.
An American/ Foreign Oil Consultant /Contractor with the Chevron Petroleum Corporation Company , made a numbered time (fixed) deposit for twelve calendar months, Valued at US$12,000,000.00 (Twelve Million Dollars) in my branch upon maturity. I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply.
After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract employers, the Petroleum Corporation that Mr. Edmund Miller, died in the plane crash On October 31, 1999, (an Egyptian Boeing 767 Flight 990) with other passengers on board as you can confirm it yourself via the website below:
I will like you to provide me with the following details:
1) Your direct mobile / fax number.
2) Your name and address of Resident country .
3) Your private e- mail box:
PLEASE REPLY TO MY PRIVATE EMAIL BELOW:
Then I shall furnish you with due process of concluding this transaction without any delay.
Mr.Ibrahim Al Zaabi