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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (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: Directorgeneralfinance <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Directorgeneralfinance <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 06:05:23 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Outstanding payment Notification
This is to officially inform you that your Inheritance/Contract payment USD$25Million. has been approved through world bank for immediate release fund via our correspondence online banking network system.
Based on this development, you are requested as a matter of urgency and priority, to re-confirm your Banking Details, Phone Number and any form of I.D for clarification, then I will send you a copy of the approved Clearance Payment Certificate and the Online banking network system Contact details to reach them immediately, for your fund will be irrevocable and unconditional be transfered into your Nominated Bank Account without any delay.
We thank you for your understanding and anticipate your quick urgent responds.
Dr. James Odo