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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mark Tunde" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:43:48 +0100
Subject: Compensation For Your Assistance
My Dear Friend/Partner,
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope this mail finds you in an excellent condition of health.
But if you do not remember me, you have received an email from me in the past regarding a multi-million-dollar business proposal which we never concluded. I am using this opportunity to inform you that this multi-million-dollar business has been concluded with another South America Realtor in Paraguay who financed it to a logical conclusion. I thank you for youre great effort to our unfinished transfer of fund into your account, duet one reason or the other best to known you at that time.
Due to the effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed during the course of the transaction, I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $1.200,000.00 (ONE MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND USA DOLLARS). I have left an international certified Bank Check of $1.200,000.00 for you cashable any where in the world. My dear friend I will like you to contact my banker Mr. Joseph Grants and comply with him so that he will send the Check to you without any delay. At the moment, I 'm very busy here in Paraguay South American, trying to invest my own share of the funds with a new partner.
Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.
CONTACT NAME: Mr. Joseph Grants
HOME ADDRESS: No. 46-Lloyd Estate, Lagos.
OFFICE ADDRESS: Zenith Bank PLC Lagos.
Therefore, you should send him your full Name, telephone number and contact address for his reference and make further arrangement with him on how you want to receive your check. And also send this pass code (Zenith-Pay120) in your email to him, this is the only way he will know you are directed to him by me.
Thanks you in anticipation for your past efforts and God bless you.
Note: to avoid any scams victims, any email you received without the consent of Mr. Joseph Grant disregards it immediately, so that you can receiver your fund legally without any hitches.
Mr. Mark Tunde.