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:
- ",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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Silvernus Junior" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 04 Jul 2012 16:31:22 +0200
Good day. I am silvernus Junior a staff of Zenith bank Pls here in
Nigeria, and I would like to confide in you regarding an opportunity
in my office,
I discovered a dormant account in my office, ($25,000,000.00) twenty
five millions Dollars Owned by the Late DICTATOR LIBYAN LEADER COL
MUAMMAR AL-GADDAFI, the fund where been padded in a brief case with
By virtue of my office As the Operational Manager , this
account is under my direct supervision and I am in the position to
influence its approval and shipment to you.
The payment will take us seven (7) working days to accomplish,
You are required to confirm the under listed details as soon as
possible for onward shipment of the fund.
I shall compensate you with 35% of the total cost, 15% for expenses
and 50% for me thanxs
Private Telephone Number:
PHOTOCOPPY OF YOUR DRIVERS LICENCE OR
Your Address: where you wish the funds delivered.
to enable me
reach you in my convenient time.
You may reach me at my private phone number