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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: From Felix Damians <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2012 22:35:57 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: From : Felix Damians
>From : Felix Damians
>From .Abidjan Cote D.Ivoire
Hello Dear Friend,
Pardon me for not having the pleasure of knowing you first before making you this offer but it is utterly confidential and genuine by virtue of its nature.
I want someone like you to help me out after i had pray ,then believes that you are a good person and that i can stay with you for the rest of my life , am 24 years old and my late father is a wealthy and successful business man before he died
,My mum died when i was a baby and i am the only child of my parents.
Before the death of my father he called me secretly in the private hospital where he was admitted and told me to run away from his house because of his blood brother,who is my uncle,It was on that day my dad revealled to me that it was his brother who poisoned him to this level.
And he told me that he used my name to deposit ( us dollars 12.5million ) in the bank and he seriously advise me to transfer this total money to oversea account for my investment, where i will start my new life and finish my education so because of this reason,i am soliciting your assistance for the claim and transfer to your bank account for the business.
Honestly speaking i am ready to give you 20percent of this total money for your assistance and with extra 5percent for your expenses on phone calls so please reply me back now if really serious to help me out so that i can tell you more about my intention and forward to you some of the legal documents of the deposit after knowing you more better.
All about the money are legal and i have all the legal documents and papers of the money with me which the bank issued to my late father the day of the deposit to the bank,
Because of the war and government problems in our country the bank manager here has promised to me that they will use their branch corrospodant bank in Asia or Europe .to transfer the money into any account i provided to them that is why i contacted you to help me out in receive the money into an account over there in your country before i join you over to have rest of mind.
Anyway,you can not understand anything now because it is a long story but please and please for God sake , reply me back as soon as possible so that i can tell you more about myself and the transfer and also forward all the legal documents of the deposit to you for your viewing.
Thanks and remain bless with your family as i wait for your urgent reply soonest,
Yours Felix Damians.