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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "FCMB PLC.®" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2010 10:53:06 +0100
Subject: RE: VERY URGENT
MESSAGE FROM THE EMBASSY:
WE ARE DIRECTED TO INFORM YOU BY THE EMBASSY OF DETAILS
OF YOUR FAMILY INHERITANCE FUND IN OUR BANK
[FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK (FCMB) PLC.]
THE FUND WAS LEFT BEHIND IN A FIXED DEPOSIT ACCOUNT IN
OUR BANK BY YOUR LATE RELATIVE ENGINEER ANTHONY.
PLEASE CONTACT THE ACCOUNTS DEPARTMENT OF THE FCMB PLC
FOR MORE DETAILS, VERIFICATION AND PROCEDURES FOR CLAIM
AS THE LEGITIMATE NEXT OF KIN / RELATIVE TO HANDLE THE
IMMEDIATE WIRE TRANSFER OF THE FUND TO YOUR FAMILY.
GET BACK TO US IMMEDIATELY, CONTACT THE ACCOUNTS
DEPARTMENT VIA EMAIL FOR MORE INFO.
ACCEPT OUR WARM REGARDS.