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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "email@example.com" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Dr.Ban Ki-Moon Secretary <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 08:10:26 +0100
Subject: UNCLAIMED FUND Reference Number WBUNCC5514021
Attention: FUND BENEFICIARY
This is to officially inform you that your payment that was Suppose to be made payable to you from Africa has been handed over to the below security company in Dubai, U.A.E. by the Africa government due to Africa countries irregularities and inability to carry out the transaction of your fund and the kind of fraud going on there in west Africa countries. Your fund to the tune of $10,500,000 USD(Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) Your payment will be made to you through A security company in DUBAI, U.A.E and You are to contact them with your personal Information so they can serve you better and urgent.
Your full name:
SECURITY COMPANY CONTACT INFORMATION:
COMPANY NAME: FIRST SECURITY SERVICE.
CONTACT PERSON: ARIF SANNI
CONTACT EMAIL: email@example.com
Note: Contact the security company with the above information for your payment and inform them of your readiness to receive your payment and they will serve you better.
Will be waiting your earliest response.
Dr.Ban Ki-Moon Secretary