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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MAC THOMPSON" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2011 09:04:28 +0530
Subject: URGENT ASSISTANCE NEEDED
GREETINGS,MY NAMES ARE MAC THOMPSON AN AMERICAN.AM INTERNATIONAL BANKER AND PERSONAL ACCOUNTANT TO THE GADHAFI'S FAMILY LIBYA. THE WEST HAS IMPOST SANCTION ON THE FAMILY AND OTHER GOVERMENT OFFICIALS. AND ALSO FREEZ ALL THEIR ASSET.AS IT STANDS NOW I HAVE LARGE AMOUNT OF AMERICAN DOLLARS IN MY NAME ON BEHALF OF THE FAMILY WHICH I KEPT.I WANT TO GO INTO CONFIDENT WITH YOU FOR THE SAFE KEEPING OF THIS SAID FUND OF $7 MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLAR. DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE MOVEMENT OF THE FUND DOWN TO YOU,I SHALL HANDLE IT WITH NO TENSION ON YOUR SIDE. ALL I NEED IS YOUR SUPPORT AND HONESTY IN KEEPING THIS FUND AND YOUR IDEAS ON WHAT WE SHALL DO WITH THIS FUND. YOU WILL HAVE A SHARE PERCENTAGE OF %30 OF THIS SAID FUND.
I NEED YOUR CONTACT DETAILS AND FOR YOU TO REPLY ME SO THAT I DISCUSS FURTHER DETAILS WITH YOU.