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:
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: KPOGOBI EGOIGBO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 08:54:05 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re Private transaction.
The President Nigeria has ordered review of contracts and sales of
Oil in our Oil Corporation from 2003 up to now and there are funds
which have not been accounted for and they have been transferred to
Furtherance to the above, auditors are presently reviewing all
payments. Subsequently, I would want to secure some contract papers
with your name so that part of the funds in offshore account will be
transferred to you.
I can assure you that with your maximum corporation and assistance, the funds would be transferred to your account next week. I will therefore appreciate a confirmation from you that this is okay by you and that you can represent and receive the funds as stated above.