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.
Fraud email example:
From: "external auditor" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2013 20:51:39 -0400
I am an auditor with the OCBC Bank Singapore. Do you know that Government Treasury swallow over $100 million every year from an unclaimed estates belonging to beneficiaries who are uninformed of their claim for this reason I contact you privately to reconcile an estate ( $26.2M) believed to have strong link to you as the beneficiary due to my investigation.
Timeline for the clearance of your estate to you is 14 days as soon as I furnish you with the claim information.
Please reply as soon as possible with your personal details to enable start the processing of the estate.