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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "million pounds" (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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "here in united kingdom" (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. Derek Josh" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 15 May 2013 05:41:57 +0200
Subject: Please, Can you partner with me?
How are you today? Your first reaction to this mail will be total rejection, scare and may be unbelief, owing largely to the atrocities people commit these days. But this mail comes from a kind and good spirited person.
With due respect and apology if I am bothering you in any manner, I know the internet is not safe anymore, people have abused it so much that it is difficult to trust anyone, lies, deceit, impersonation and theft to name but few. So please, I am begging you to handle what I am about to say with a pure heart and utmost secrecy. If after reading this email, you feel you cannot be of any help to me, please delete this message to avoid internet mongers pretending to be me.
My name is Mr. Derek Josh Eric, an Executive Auditor and head of computing department here in United Kingdom. This mail is very confidential.
I want to transfer Fifteen Million Pounds Sterling (15,000,000.00 GBP), that belongs to my Late client; He is a Director and owner of Petrochemical Service. He died without a will. Base on my investigation, I found out that no one is aware of this account.
However, I need your assistance and cooperation towards this. I will like you to provide an empty bank account where the fund will be transferred.
Then after the transfer, I will immediately visit your country for the sharing. I will receive 60% of the total amount and you 35%, remaining 5% will be for any expenses incurred.
Can you partner with me?
Reply me only if you can be able to handle such a huge sum of money.
Thank you kindly,
Mr. Derek Josh
Sent from my iPhone