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:
- "million british pounds" (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)
- ",000,000" (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: "JAMES STUART" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 1 May 2011 20:23:41 -0700
Subject: FROM: JAMES STUART
Before I start, I must firstly apologize for this unsolicited proposal to you. I am aware that this is certainly an unconventional approach for starting business a relationship, Please accept my sincere apologies if my email does not meet your business or personal ethics. But as time goes on you will realize the need for my action.I am Mr.James Stuart, a senior staff with a reputable Firm. I have only written to seek your indulgence and assistance. I wish to make a deal of a transfer involving the sum of £5,000,000 GB (Five Million British Pounds Sterling Only).
I am proposing to make this transfer to a designated bank account of your choice. Thus, i need your indulgence and support; I propose an offer of 40% of the total amount to be yours after the transfer has been successfully concluded.Kindly reply me stating your interest and I shall furnish you with the details and necessary procedure with which to make the transfer. I anxiously await your response.
Thanks and God bless.
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