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:
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Khaldoon" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 16:13:21 +0200
Subject: Private business proposal,
United arab Emirates.
REQUEST FOR URGENT ASSISTANCE.
Greetings From Dubai,
This message might meet you in (utmost surprise),however,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 United Arab Emirates and currently holding the post of Director Auditing and Accounting unit of
I have the opportunity of transfering the left over funds
($17.5million)our bank deceased customer late Richard Burson, who died on (Egypt Air Flight 990)along with his family on a plane crash below.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/502503.stm.
Hence i am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared between us in the ratio of 50/50 as a brotherhood.
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.