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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",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)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Idris Arayan Azezul" <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2012 12:27:03 +0800 (HKT)
Subject: Good day to you
Good day to you,
My name is Mr. Idris Arayan Azezul. I work as the Foreign Operations
Manager with a reputable bank here in Malaysia. Although the world is very
small place and hard place to meet people because you don't know who to
trust or believe, but as I have developed the trust in you after my
fasting and praying, i made up my mind to confide this confidential
business suggestion to you.
There is an over due unclaimed sum of Nine Million, Five Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars. ($ 9,500,000.00) in my bank, belonging to one of
our dead foreign customers. There were no beneficiaries stated concerning
these funds. Therefore, your request as a foreigner is necessary to apply
for the claim and release of the fund smoothly into your reliable bank
account as the Foreign Business Partner to the deceased.
Please if you are really sure of your trustworthy, integrity,
accountability and confidentiality on this deal, contact me with your
profiles including private telephone (Mobile) number for easy
communication.I am looking forward to read from you soonest
Mr. Idris A. Azezul.
Foreign Operations Dept.