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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "foreign remittance manager" (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)
- "urgent assistance" (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: Larsan Barro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2018 08:57:40 +0100
Subject: I Need Your Urgent Assistance.
Greetings and compliments of the season,
I Know This Message Will Come to You as a Surprise. Please due welcome
the letter and help me out as you finish reading. I Am (Larsan Barro)
secretary to the Foreign Remittance Manager. (Bank of
Africa)B.O.A.Here in Burkina Faso. West Africa, I Need Your Urgent
Assistance In Transferring The Sum Of ($5.2) Million To Your Account.
This Money Has Been Dormant For Years In Our Bank Without Claim. I
Want The Bank To Release The Money To You As The Nearest Person To
Our. Deceased Customer, Upon Your Reply. I Will Give You Details on
How the Business Will Be Executed, and I hope that you will not expose
or betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you
for mutual benefits of our families.
I am waiting for your response!!!
Have a great day