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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "John Bach" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 01 Jan 2012 18:10:59 +0700
Subject: Hello Friend,
I hope this proposal meets you in a good state of health. I need your help to transfer and invest US$5,500,000.00 that accumulated as undeclared profit made by our financial institution.
All that is required to get the funds transferred out of here is to put your name on the Non-investment account holding the funds. This practically makes you a Non-Resident customer of our Bank.
I will then guide you on how to apply for Closure of the Account and credit transfer of the funds to your designated bank account. You will get 40% of the funds for your role.
If you get back to me with your physical contact state below, we will consummate the funds transfer within one week.
(1) Your full name:
(2) Your address.
(6) Private telephone number:
Mr. John Bach