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)
- "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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Toure Ibrahim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2013 12:15:24 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Dear friend,
Forgive my indignation if this message comes to you as a surprise. I got your contact When i was searching for a foreign reliable partner
I am (Toure Ibrahim) the Head of file Department in African development bank (A.D.B). In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of $15 million U.S.A dollars. In an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer who died along with all his family in the Asia Earth Quake Disaster (TSUNAMI DISASTER INDONESIA / INDIA. Since we got information about his death, unfortunately i learn that all his supposed next of kin or relation died along side leaving nobody behind for the claim. In respect to the provision of a foreign account ($6 million dollars) for you and ($9 million dollars) for me. There after i will visit your country for disbursement according to the percentages indicated.(FILL THIS FORM BELLOW PLEASE AND RESEND IT TO ME).1) Your FullName2) Your Age3) Marital Status4) Your Cell Phone Number5) Your Fax Number6) Your Country7) Your Occupation8) Sex9) Your Religion
POST SCROTUM: You have to keep everything secret as to enable the transfer to move very smoothly in to the account you will prove to the bank. I am waiting for your immediate response as you receive this mail. Extend my sincere greetings to your entire family. God bless you and bye for now.Yours faithfully,