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:
- "dearest one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ebako" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 15:05:08 +0200
Subject: From Regina
My name is Miss Paloma Ebako. I am writing you to request you to be my Trustee and manage my fund which I inherited from my late father the sum of (5,000,000.00USD)who was killed by his close friend. My father Mr. Justo Masaka Ebako was the Deputy director general ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy of Equatorial Guinea. My plan is to continue and complete my education in your country which was disrupted as a result of His death while you will be managing the business on my behalf while i continue my education.
Please let me know your opinion regarding this offer so that I can detail you accordingly to enable you have access to the fund and receive it in your account for investment while I continue my education under your care with hope that you will not disappoint me.
I am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum as your commission for helping me to receive the fund in a safe account. Please send your reply to my private secure email: email@example.com
You can also get me also on telephone number: 00 34 602 647 947
I am waiting to hear from you.
I am waiting to hear from you and thank you in advance for your assistance.
Miss Regina Ebako