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.
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Suleman Isah" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2011 09:32:52 +0100
Subject: Reply Me If You Are Interested
FROM THE DESK OF MR SULEMAN ISAH,
BILL AND EXCHANGE MANAGER,
INTERCONTINATAL BANK NIGERIA,
I am Mr.Suleman Isah, bill and exchange manager with the Bank. I need your assistance in transferring the sum of ($15M)million into your account withing 10 to 14 banking days.
This account belongs to a foreign customer by name, Dr George Brumely who died along with his entire family in a plane crash.
I agree that 40% of this money will be for you in respect of the provision of a foreign account,5% will be set aside for expenses incurred during the business and 55% would be for me. Thereafter, I will visit your country for disbursement according to the percentage indicated. Reply me if interested.This is my personal email address:(email@example.com)
Your name in full........
Your cell phone.........
Your Internation passport.......
Await your positive response.