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 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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "HATIM ABDALGADIR" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 09:59:45 -0800
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL REQUEST
CONFIDENTIAL REQUEST TO RECEIVE $ 237 MILLION DOLLARS INTO
YOUR BANK ACCOUNT.
I AM HATIM ABDALGADIR AHMAD,AN INVESTMENT CONSULTANT ,CEO OF SHAT CONSTRUCT,AND A SENIOR PARTNER WITH INVESTMENT FUNDING LTD.,LONDON,UNITED KINGDOM.I HAVE BEEN MANDATED BY SOME TOP OFFICIALS OF SAUDI ARABIAN BASED OIL FIRM,SAUDI ARABIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM,AND A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL FAMILY, TO LOOK FOR A TRUST WORTHY,AND COMPETENT INDIVIDUAL OR CORPORATE BODY THAT HAVE THE CAPACITY TO RECEIVE AND MANAGE THE SUM OF $237MILLION FOR INVESTMENT INTO MUTUAL BENEFITING BUSINESS TRANSACTION.THIS MONEY IS A PRODUCT OF LEGITIMATE COMMISSION GIVEN TO THEM BY A FOREIGN OIL SERVICES COMPANY THAT EXECUTED CONTRACTS IN THEIR FIRM,AND IT'S CURRENTLY DEPOSITED WITH A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION IN EUROPE.DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY FOR FURTHER CLARIFICATION.
HATIM ABDALGADIR AHMAD.
PARKFIELD, ST ARVANS CHEPSTOW MONMOUTHSHIRE.
LONDON UNITED KINGDOM