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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS.DORCAS NWODU" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 08:42:18 -0700
Subject: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION.
We are pleased to announce to you that your inheritance accrued interest of $4.8M is available for payment but did you authorize Mrs. Sarah McDaniel to collect the money because you have car accident? She has sent this proof for our perusal. Website: http://www.car/ accidents.com/pages/car_accident_photo.html
Kindly glance the website and confirm however if she is not authorize to obtain the funds, you should clarify Barrister. Phillip Lawrence Idiamo on the subject matter by his email:email@example.com for further advice to ensure the money is paid. Also adhere strictly with his directives to avoid hindrance from receiving your funds.
We are undoubtedly facing constrained times because of overseas unsettled payment but this latest announcement shows the Government recognizes the matter and want to make sure one and all is paid to protect the image and success of our country.
Mrs. Dorcas Nwaodo (EFCC spokeswoman)