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:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Lord Blackwell" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2012 07:42:52 -0500
From: Mr. Lord Blackwell.
Firstly, I apologize for sending you this sensitive information via
banking department I discovered an abandoned sum worth of
Five Million United State Dollars Only) in an account that belongs to
one of our
customers who unfortunately lost his life with his entire family on
since 2002. Since his death, I have been expecting his next of kin or
to come over and claim his funds because we cannot release it unless somebody
applies for it as Next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our
banking procedure. I want you to come in as the Next Of Kin, all needed
cooperation to make the claims will be given to you by me. If you are
kindly let me have your full contact details and I will give you more details.
I will give you 45% of the total sum for your sincere cooperation. We will
discuss much in details when I receive your response.Waiting for your
Private Email: email@example.com
Mr. Lord Blackwell