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:
- "is highly confidential" (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: "Youssef B. Ghali" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 12:12:04 +0100
Subject: This is very Confidential,
Mr name is Youssef Boutros Ghali, former finance Minister under Hosin Mubaraku, who resigned under intense pressure from protesters.
l have been charged for corruption but the court has cleared me. when i was the Finance Minister I had the sum of US$12.5 million,which was deposited in security Company Oversea's under the assistant of President Hosin Mubaraku of Egypt, but as of now, he has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Government.
l need your assistant for us to re-lodge this fund into a private account under my assistant as the depositor, which will benefit but of us.As of now I had left the Country since February 2011 and went on asylum in one of the West African Countries.
l wanted us to disburse the fund as follows 50/50 .Please this message is highly confidential, even if you are not interested but lf you are interested, kindly email me to my private email address for mo re details.
Youssef B. Ghali