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 british pounds" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Hua Xia Bank" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2018 14:57:49 +0300
Subject: == Re: 10/12/2018 ==
It's nice meting you and I thank you for giving me your audience as we have not meet each other before, but sometimes in life luck and faith play's a role in two people meeting from nowhere to become friends or business partners.
My dear, I wish to place your name as the beneficiary to an overdue fund sum of USD35.5 Million which is equivalent to GBP27.5Million British Pounds belonging to my late client who died leaving no body to inherit her fund as her next of kin column is blank. I am contacting you that we may have a deal, note 50% of the sum will be for you while the other 50% will be my share as well.
Though I know the Internet medium is highly abuse this days but am assuring you that this has nothing to do with any fraudulent activity. Please kindly send me your reply if you are interested with my proposal in order for me to email you in full details.
NB: Please direct your reply to my Outlook Email Address for security reasons: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be waiting for your quick response,
Mr Timothy Lee.