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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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: Mrs Francine Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2013 19:16:47 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Compensation Fund Contact Financial Bank,
is to bring to your notice, I am a delegate from the United Nations and
IMF International Monetary Fund) With the Benin Republic GOV, has
approved to compensate you with $2,100,000.00 (Two Million One Hundred
Thousand Dollars) to retain the good image of this country. You
are listed and approved for this payment; Contact Financial-Bank as
soon as possible for immediate payments of your (Two million One Hundred
Thousand Dollars) With Your full details.
Contact: Director, Moche Anderson
Financial-Bank Benin Republic 24/7
Your full Name:_________
Preferred Payment Method (Bank-Transfer)
Federal Ministry Of FinanceFund Compensation, Payment Method (Bank-Transfer)