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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Kelvin Asamoah" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 17:45:10 +0800
Subject: If Interested
I am Kelvin Asamoah,I serve as Fund Executive Manager of Stanbic Bank
Ghana. In 2009, A customer made a fixed number deposit $24.600.000.00.
This investor died four years ago leaving no WILL or AUTHORIZATION for
Re-transfer to his next of kin. I investigated this for 12 months;
there were no record of the deceased with Stanbic Bank linking his relatives or
friends, thereby creating an avenue to claim the fund through a trustworthy
person that Can stand as the inheritor.
If interested, Please contact me. I will present you as the beneficiary
with proper Documentation and further updates for the transfer.
I look forward to your response.