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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Alex Stacy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Alex Stacy <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2012 10:58:11 +0800 (SGT)
Don't be offended, I came across your profile when i was browsing the internet and you really got me interested, My dear, I want to have a good friendship with you and this can strengthen TRUST AND FAIRNESS between us. I'm Alex Stacy a senior banking officer with Lloyds TSB Bank here in London. I have a business to introduce to you, can I transfer (38.5) Million British pounds from our foreign deceased customer to your bank account which we can share for our mutual benefits percentage 40% for you, while 60% for me and my colleagues here in the office? Because of irrevocable order to approve this money to any indigenous person here and I therefore seek for a foreign beneficiary. I will tell you more about this if this proposal is being acceptable by you. Have a great week.