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)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Tim Scott" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 May 2013 23:49:16 -0700
Subject: Re: Reply Me Immediatly
I am Mr. Tim Scott, the Chief Auditor UK FINANCE CORPORATION. In
the course of my auditing, I discovered a floating fund in an account
which was opened in 1990 belonging to one of our Late Foreign Customer
that is (Deceased). Every effort made to track any member of his family or
next of kin has since failed; hence I got in contact with you to stand as
his next of kin since you bear the same last name with him. He died
leaving no Heir or a WILL.My intention is to transfer this sum of US$8.3
Million Dollars (Eight Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars)in the
aforementioned account to a safe account overseas. I am therefore
proposing that you quietly partner with me and provide an account that
will serve the purpose of Receiving this funds. For your Assistance in
this venture You and I will Share the Funds 50/50 Each. After going
through the deceased personal records and files, I discovered that No one
has operated this account since 1999 He died without any Heir.
Please Reply me so that I can send you detailed information on the
modalities of my proposition. I completely trust you to keep this
proposition absolutely confidential.
UK Finance Corporation