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:
- "cost of transfer" (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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.JIm Ovia." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2012 17:58:34 -0500
Subject: Contact Agent Anderson Curtis
This is to say that i am really sorry that i have not contacted you
for a long time but i i decided to contact you today been the 13th of
October 2011 to let you know that your fund which was transfered to
the federal Government suspense account has been duly kep and right
now the Federal Government of this Great Country Nigeria has reached
an agreement that will be favourable in such a way that your fund wil
be transfered to you at no Cost of Transfer.
The United State President has dediced to use the office of the FBI to
take care of this issue of scam victims by sending in an FBI agent to
stand in as a delegate knowing fully well that the citizens of the
United State will have trust in one of their own.The C.O.T will be
deducted from the total amount before your fund is transfered to you
but i will need you to be in contact with the FBI agent that has been
assigned for this purpose.
Find below the contact details of the FBI Agent.
Note that the government has reached an agreement with the Banks so
that the transfer charges will be deducted from total fund before the
transfer is made.