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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Abdul Qadeer Fitrat" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 15:03:27 -0700
Subject: RE: URGENT PLEASE
I hope this mail does not serve as an embarrassment to you because I do receive unsolicited mails sometimes, This message is not a junk or joke as my bank partner await to meet with you. I am Afghan central bank governor and name is Abdul Qadeer Fitrat. I believe this world is a free place to do business with anyone with my experience in the banking industry. Articles are place about me online and i need a partner who i can trust with my funds.
I have refunded back part of the funds but I need to secure my future by keeping $60,000,000.00 Million in a safe bank account. I can't travel or do open business with people since i am still on investigation.
I need you to travel to meet with the Natwest bank sign the funds on your name.
I will give you my personal bank officer contact details to contact secretly for the claim of $60,000.000.00 Million. You will receive these funds and use it for investment purpose.
I hope I can trust you.
Abdul Qadeer Fitrat