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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dir Sami P Adams." <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2012 08:09:01 +0800 (SGT)
For your kind attention, I will be very glad if you do assist me to relocate asum of (US$9,500,000.00 Million) to your personal bank account for the benefitof both of us.
This is a genuine business transaction, only that I can not operate it alonewithout using a Foreigner as required in my bank law, therefore I am contactingyou to stand before my bank as the beneficiary next of kin of this fund, thatis my reason of contacting you in this manner to assist me actualize thisbetter opportunity, also to share the benefit together with me Insha'Allah.
You will be entitled to have 40% of this fund as a foreign partner, since youwill provide a bank account where this money will be transferred to, while60%will be for me, by indicating your interest on assurance of trust, I willsend you the full details and how this business will be executed.
Please keep this proposal as a top secret between both of us because the secretof this transaction is as well as the success of it, and if you are really sureof your integrity, trustworthy and confidentiality reply back to me immediatelyto prove your integrity, And if you are not interested about this businessdelete it immediately in your email box.
I will be looking forward for your urgent response.
Best Regards,Dir Sami P Adams.