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 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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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. Allen. Woody" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 01:20:35 +0530
Subject: (Greetings From United Nation Development Programme)
This letter might come as a surprise to you especially since we have never met or had a discussion before, basically this message might sound strange but it is factual in reality if only you care to know, The truth is that I should have notified you through a more confidential means, (even in the least to respect your integrity) please accept my humble apologies if I have caught you unaware, I frankly do not mean any harm in passing my message.
I am a Project Manager with the United Nation Development Program Asia pacific (UNDP) I am also the concerned principal with contract appraisal and the approval of contracts in order of priority in regards with capital projects of the (UNDP) here in the Asia. With my position as the principal director of operations, I have successfully secured the sum of one hundred and twenty eight million dollars (US$128Million) the amount was accumulated from over invoices. To this effect I decided to contact you and ask for your assistance, to enable us work together and transfer this amount into your overseas account.
I am willing to compensate you with 50% of the total amount upon a successful conclusion of this transaction. Finally the confidence and trusted repose on you cannot be over emphasized; therefore you are to keep this deal to yourself completely confidentially. Your reputation will be highly protected in this transaction. I shall be pleased to have your full information to start the process.
Your Home Addresses:
Mr. Allen. Woody
Call my Mobile for more information: +60166324907