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 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.Hobart Johnson" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 23:43:14 +0800
Subject: Attention please,
I am Mr. Hobart Johnson, I was an attorney to a deceased client of mine, who died of a heart attack in 2001, but before his demise, he had a deposit of (US$19,000,000.00) Ninteen Million United States Dollars with a security vault here as a family treasure which I'm aware of as his lawyer.
I want us to claim this treasure from the company by positioning you as his next of kin with all legal documents required to back up your claim from the security vault since you have a name march with him. The security vault has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin for claim but it's unfortunate that every efforts to locate any of his relative was unsuccessful.
Would you be interested to cooperate with me in this venture, do send me an email for a complete explanation to succeed this deal knowing that it's private and confidential.
(Attorney at Law)