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:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Eric Moore" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 17:49:07 -0500
The need to get a foreigner
I am Eric Moore, Head of Internal Audit International Commercial Bank. working as part of a bigger team that covers the entire African region. An investor (name with held) died without naming any next of kin to his fund in my bank.
The amount is $15.7M and banking regulation/legislation,demands that i should Notify the fiscal authorities after three years.
The above set of facts underscores my reason to seek your permission to have you stand in as the next of kin to the deceased.
These funds will be approved and released in your favor as the next of kin if only you will adhere to my instruction and cooperate with me in one accord. I have all the legal and banking details of the deceased client that will facilitate our putting you forward as the claimant/beneficiary of the funds and ultimately transfer of the $15.7M plus interest to any bank account nominated by you. I am prepared to compensate you with a 35% share of the total Funds for your efforts.
The final details will be given upon receipt an affirmation of your desire to participate.
Please contact me immediately whether or not you are interested in this proposal.
If you are not, it will enable me scout for another foreign partner to carry out this deal.
But where you are interested, contact me.