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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million pounds" (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: Briggs Arthur <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 10:50:11 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: From Yours Partner Mr.Briggs Arthur Director Barclays Bank London/England.
My Dear Partner, VICTIMNAME,
How are you doing?Hope all is well.
I very sorry for not contacting you all this while because My Sickness came back again and I have been in the Hospital all this months but I thank God that today I am in good condition.
My Dear Partner,I will like you to visit this Barclays Bank London-England for this Transaction and I want to Inform you today that this Transaction is never a scam and will never be because I am 100% sure of what I am telling you.
I have Attached a copy of my International Passport in this Message so that you will know exactly whom you are dealing with.
My Dear Partner,Incase you can not come to London-England for this Transaction,Please kindly send to me your Complete Bank Account as requested to enable me complete the Transfer of this 20.000.000.00 Million Pounds to your Bank Account.
I will leave you for now because I have many Customers to attend in my office.
My Dear Partner,Once you confirm this money 20.000.000.00 Million Pounds in your Bank Account I will arrange to meet in your country Immediately for the sharing of this money you will take 10 Million Pounds and I will take 10 Million Pounds hope this is ok by you.
Treat Very Very Urgent.
>From Yours Partner
Director Barclays Bank