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:
- "million us 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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned 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: "Mrs. Derrence Ross" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2013 23:40:23 +0100
Subject: From Mrs. Derrence Ross
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Fifth Floor, Oakland Center,
48 Aguiyi Ironsi Street,
Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria
PMB 5152, Wuse Post Office Abuja.
We Write to inform you that an individual by name Timothy Pough Brought to
us a Letter of Attorney with this Account Details below that you sent him
to us to stand in your place as your Next of Kin to claim your long over
due $15.5 million us dollars.
Beneficiary Name: Timothy Pough
Bank Name: Comerica Bank
MC 6727 5201 East R. L. Thornton
Dallas, Texas 75223-0282 214-630-3030
Routing & Swift Code: 111000753
Account Number: 7002173800
The question is this. Did you Send this man here to Represent you as your
Next of Kin? Yes or No?
Let us know immediately by email if you sent Timothy Pough to us to claim
your $15.5 million us dollars as truly your Next of Kin before the end of
working hours today.
Sincerely Yours In Service,
Mrs. Derrence Ross