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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Phil Padma" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2009 05:42:08 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Partnership Invitation
DR. Phil PADMA
With due respect to your person and much sincerity of purpose I decide to contact you as I believe that you will be of great assistance to me. Meanwhile, it's just my urgent need for foreign partner that made me to contact you for this transaction. I am a banker by profession from Burkina Faso in West Africa and currently holding the post of Director Auditing and Accounting unit of the bank. I have the opportunity of transferring the left over funds ($11.5million) of one of my bank clients who died along with his entire family on 31 July 2000 in a plane crash. You can confirm the genuiness of the deceased death by clicking on this web site. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm
Hence, I am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared between us in the ratio of 60/40. If you agree to my business proposal. further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as soon as i receive your return mail.
Have a great day.
Dr. Phil Padma
Reply to my new email address.