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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Hmaza Yaya" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 17:04:09 -0000
Subject: Transfer account from needed Mr Hamza Yaya.
>From Hamza Yaya
Please I need your to help receive the sum of £9.5 Million Pounds into your acount for more details send
the follwing information to the email below. I work with one of the most known Bank in London where I
discover this fund. if you are capable to handle and provide and account it will take 5 working days to
approve and release to you in your name.
1) Your full name.
2) Contact Address
3) Phone, fax and mobile #.
6) Your bank account Number
7) Your bank name
8) Your routing bank number
9) Your bank address
>From Hamza Yaya