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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- yahoo! kalender - du er inviteret! email@example.com har sendt en invitation: about my discovery hvornår: fredag den 27. juli 2012 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Nejad Feaqa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 02:08:34 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Invitation: ABOUT MY DISCOVERY
YAHOO! KALENDER - DU ER INVITERET!
email@example.com har sendt en invitation:
ABOUT MY DISCOVERY
fredag den 27. juli 2012 21:00 - 22:00 (GMT+00:00)
I know that this mail will come to you in astonishment because we have never met before, but you need not to worry as I am contacting you independently about my discovery and no one is to be informed of this communication. I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of $7.3million immediately to your private account.The money has been here in our Bank lying dormant for years now without anybody coming for the claim of it.
I want to release the money to you as the relative to our deceased customer (the account owner) who died along with her supposed NEXT OF KIN since 31 January 2000. The Banking laws here stipulates that any account that stays dormant for 12 years and above will be recalled to the Bank treasury account as unclaimed fund.
By indicating your interest I will send you the full details on how the business will be carried out.
Please respond urgently and delete if you are not interested.