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)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Stephen Allen" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 07:00:23 -0400
Subject: Dear Friend
I am officially sending you this e-mail in order for you to be aware of the good news of your funds, please before I proceed, I will like you to keep away this message from any other person around you, because we have decided to conclude this issue with you alone,JAN 30th 2012 a meeting was held with the General Director of the Interpol and some other top officials in the United Kingdom concerning the online internet scam from london, in the conclusion of the meeting, I was ordered by the Interpol to fly down to london for special investigation concerning the delay of your payment.
After some little investigation, I notice that your funds is still in the Federal Suspense Account" of royal Bank. Meanwhile those people that you
have been dealing with are not from the right office, they are only using you to make money for their own benefit.
You need to understand that my coming down to london is because of your transaction, and I have to accomplish the transfer before returning back to
the United Kingdom, all the legal documentation for your funds are with me here in london, what i just need from you now is your corporation, you have
to cease communication with any other person different from me to avoid been mislead.
Don't allow anyone to deceive you, your funds is $15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million United States Dollars Only) it was written inside the recording files
of your funds.I have taken your funds documents to the Bank for confirmation and they have been working on the release of your funds, meanwhile, I will need your information like the stated below so that I can know how to update you soon as everything has been settled.
Upon the receipt of this information, I will email you or call you and give you code on how to communicate with me and I will always keep you updated concerning the progress of the transfer of your $15,000,000.00USD, once again you are advised to cease all communication with any other office or person to avoid been mislead, and whenever you receive any message from anyone, kindly forward it to me so that i can make a proper investigation on it.
Mr. Stephen Allen