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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer into your account" (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: Nora Qattara <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2013 18:17:50 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Please I really need you to stand as my Guardian.
Please I really need you to stand as my Guardian.
I am Miss Nora Qattara. I am contacting you because i needed your help in the management of a sum of fund that my late father Mr. Johnson Qattara. Left for me before he died.
The fund is deposited in one of the finical house ($8.5 million u.s dollars ). I
will offer you 25% of the total amount for helping me to transfer the fund into
your account. I want you to stand as my guardian and appointed beneficiary and
the fund will be transfer into your account in your country. Since i am only 20
year old age and without mother and father.
Please i will like you to reply to this email so that i will tell you all the
information details, on how you will help me here is my private email where you
will reply me for more information. I am waiting for your urgently reply.Thanks
and god bless you and your family.
Miss Nora Qattara