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)
- "million us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Frank Anderson" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 05:48:47 -0800
Subject: From Mr.Frank Anderson
My name is Mr.Frank Anderson, I am the auditor and head of computing department of a bank here in Scotland.
There is an account opened in this bank in 1995 and since my Inception into office, nobody has operated on this account.
I have the courage to let you understand that $30,000, 000.00 (Thirty Million US DOLLARS) in this account need an urgent transfer before it will be forfeited for nothing.
I truly need your assistance on this transaction and after you will stand to get 35% while 60% is for me
and 5% will be for the expenses during the process .
I will fill you in with further details upon your reply.
God Bless you as i await your response.
I look forward to hear from you.