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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Wilfrid Azor." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 16:15:30 -0700
Subject: Please read the email carefully and get back to me.
My email may sound astonishing to you but please, this is for real.
There is this floating fund which is to the tune of Fourteen Million Seven
Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($14,700,000.00USD) which has been
floating in this A/C nº 5005874SB1000 with Chipps Investment National Bank Group
London, since 2005, after the death of the true owner of the funds, who bears
the same last name with you.
During the bank private search for the relative recently, your name and email
contact was among the findings that match. I found out that nobody has ever come
on behalf of the late deceased as his next of kin to claim the funds and I have
been monitoring this account since I discovered this information.
If you are reliable to execute this transaction with me, then I will instruct
you on how to claim as the next of kin to the deceased, so that the funds could
be transferred to your overseas A/C, if only you will co-operate with me and not
betray me at the end of this transaction.
After the transaction is being successful, I will apply for a visa to your
country to collect my own share which is 50% for me and 50% for you. If you are
interested in this transaction, please reply me urgently.
I await your soonest response to this matter.