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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned 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: contact----------------------------- <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 11:39:45 -0800 (PST)
Subject: CONTACT HIM TODAY
My good friend,
Good day and how are you today? I Hope all is well with you and your family? I wish to thank you so much for your past effort in trying to assist me initially in this multi-million-dollars business.I have succeeded,the multi-million-dollars business had been concluded with thehelp of another partner from India. I am in Australia with my family now. For your past efforts, I have left a certified international bank draft for you worth US$1,800,000.00.( One Million Eight hundred thousand united state dollars ) , cashable anywhere in the world. Forward this email to my secretary as below and he will send your
bank draft to you immediately:
His Name. Mr.John Zik.
Cotonou Benin Republic,
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send to him the followings informations so that he will send yourcertified international bank draft to you:
YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS,
1.Your full Name......................
2.Your current address...............
3.Your mobile/Telephone number........
Mr. Peter Wiiliams