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:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: MR MOHAMMED MOUSSA <email@example.com>
Reply-To: MR MOHAMMED MOUSSA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 12:46:27 +0200 (SAST)
Subject: GOOD DAY
This message might meet you in utmost surprise however, itâs just my urgent need
for a foreign partner that made me contact you for this transaction. I am a banker
by profession from DAKAR REPUBLIC OF SENEGAL in west Africa and currently holding
the post of auditing general I discover this deposit in our auditing course. I have
the opportunity of transferring the left over funds $25.000.000.00 Million United
State Dollars the deceased client who died in the shatter plane which crashed on mount
Kenyan in the Kenyan city of sumburu on 21st July,2003 to any foreign account .You
can confirm the genuiness of the deceased death by clicking on this website
Hence, I am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared between
us in the ratio 60/40 if you agree to my business proposal. Eagerly waiting for your
response. Reply to my private mail email@example.com
MR MOHAMMED MOUSSA