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:
- "million united states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "DR.NICOLE GERALD" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 02:12:38 +0800
Subject: YOUR URGENT RESPONSE IS NEEDED
Before I proceed, I must first apologize for this unsolicited letter to you. I am aware that this is certainly not a conventional way of approach to establish a relationship of trust, but I do have limited choice.
I am Dr. Nicole Gerald of Bedsam Consult & Associates Ltd a business service firm in China, I have a business proposal concerning some funds amounting to ten million United states dollars belonging to a refugee, the funds were lodged into the Reputable Bank in an escrow bonded account by my client's late father who was a successful business man in Hongkong and Shenzen in China before his untimely death.
The funds are genuine and have no links with criminal activities because it was generated by legitimate means, there is much to gain from the transaction because my client is ready to give 30% of the total funds for your assistance in completing the transfer of the funds on transit to your account.
I have all the bank documents backing the funds and documents showing that my client is true owner of the funds inherited from his late father. I have been able to contact the bank to verify the existence of the funds and the bank has confirmed its existence to me, I can send to you bank contact details so that you can contact the bank to verify for yourself. I will show to you the documents, a copy of my international identification and give you more details about this transaction when I get your response.
Dr. Nicole Gerald