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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Mark Abbott <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 03:35:23 +0000
Subject: From : Mr Mark Abbott
>From : Mr Mark Abbott
F & C Fund Management Ltd, (OEICS) ( UK ),
PO Box 9040 Chelmsford
Essex CM99 2XH
TRANSFER OF £28.559 MILLION GBP TO YOUR ACCOUNT.
I want to make a proposal of business transaction which value sum is £28,559,000 GBP (Twenty Eight Million, Five Hundred And Fifty Nine Thousand British Pounds Sterling) to you, of which I believe, will be of much interest to you and also a mutual benefit for both of us.
I need your co-operation to transfer the above mentioned sum out of England to your account. And I am confident that you will give your consideration to this proposal and response positively within a short period of time. I am available to discuss this proposal with you and to answer any questions you may have in regard to this fund.
As soon as you give your positive response to this proposal, I will not hesitate in sending you the details and procedures of the transaction. This transaction is 100% RISK FREE.
Look forward to discussing this opportunity further with you in more detail shortly.
Mr Mark Abbott