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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "ODAGA." (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2011 15:57:36 -0800
Greetings,This proposal might come to you as a surprise but believe me that it is transparent business.
My name is MR.NELSON ODAGA. and I work in the delivery department in a security
company here in London. I feel quite safe dealing with you in this important Business. I was on a routine inspection when I discovered a deposit account with a BAL. Of (TWELVE MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY NINE THOUSAND POUNDS STERLINGS).
I later learn t on further discreet investigation that the depositor of the funds has passed away (dead) leaving no beneficiary to the deposit.
The company will deliver this money to anyone with legal claims because the former depositor is a foreigner. I am certainly sure that nobody will come again for the claim of this money. We claim this money with legal claims to the deposit Holder, therefore I need your cooperation in this transaction.I will provide all necessary information needed in order to claim this money,Hoping in God that you will never let me down now and in future. o.k!.Late Rafik Bahaa Edine Hariri (November 1, 1944 - February 14, 2005),married to Nazek Audi Hariri, was a Lebanese self-made billionaire and business tycoon, and was five times Prime Minister of Lebanon (1992-1998 and
2000-2004)before his last resignation from office on October 20, 2004.The late Rafik Hariri died on February 14, 2005 when explosives equivalent to around 300
kg of C4 were detonated as his motorcade drove past the Saint George Hotel in the Lebanese capital,
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We WANT TO TRANSFER THIS MONEY INTO A SAFE FOREIGN ACCOUNT ABROAD BUT I DON'T KNOW ANY FOREIGNER WHOM I CAN TRUST, I KNOW THAT THIS MESSAGE WILL COME TO YOU AS A SURPRISE AS WE DON'T KNOW OURSELVES BEFORE, BUT BE SURE THAT IT IS REAL AND A GENUINE BUSINESS. I CONTACT YOU BELIEVING THAT YOU WILL NOT LET ME DOWN ONCE THE FUND GOES TO YOU.
Let me hear from you URGENTLY by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org