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)
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Dennis Azi <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2012 20:33:23 +0000
l am Dennis Azi, the only child of late Chief Pascal Azi , I wish to
request for your assistance in a financial transaction that I want to
invest in real estate management in your country.I am from Liberia 20 years
old.My late father was an international businessman and a cocoa merchant,
my father was killed by rebels on September 19 2011 and as his only child
they are also seeking to kill me too. Before the death of my Father he
deposited the sum £10.5 million GBP in a Security Company in London and
told me to seek for a foreign partner that will provide account overseas
where the funds will be transferred to for Investment.
Please I am asking you to assist me so that this funds can be transferred
to your account for Investment. Every documents about the funds is legal.
God bless you,