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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "million united states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mark Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 00:24:49 -0800 (PST)
Subject: The HSBC Bank of London
The HSBC Bank of London,just received a letter from Ann Joseph making a claim for your long over due payment of Fifteen Million United States Dollars.Does she have your permission to claim the money?Let us know immediately before we can release the money to her.She claimed that you are dead and that you handed over your estate to her before you gave up the ghost.Since no response from you regarding the bank requirements for the transfer into your account, we are now suspecting that it might be true that you died as she stated. The only evidence now is for you or your family members to contact us through this your email address and confirming if these people are from you or else we will transfer the fund to them. Kindly Provide the following details below for immediate actions to be carried out:
1: Your full name:
2: Your Complete address:
3: Your age :
4: Your Occupation:
5: Your Telephone:
6: Your Fax:
7: Your Sex: