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 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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Emerson Alexander" <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 14:17:04 +0300
Subject: Good Day
Mr. Emerson Alexander
Regent's Park London NW1 4SA
I am Mr. Emerson Alexander; i work with European Planet Lottery UK as African payment representative for 6years. I am originally from Sierra Leone but resident right now in London UK. i am writing this mail to you based on the information that i find in the internet on how property business is moving well in your country.
as an Africa payment representative for European Planet Lottery Inc, i am in charge of some payment to some Africa people that won lottery but where not able to claim their payment because their email addresses where change or not valid any more. After several attempt to contact them for their payment all effort failed.
For the past 2 years i have been sitting with 6 unclaimed payment files amount to the tone of GBP18 Million Pounds. Now i have concluded a smooth arrangement to move this money out of this company to you by wire transfer or through diplomatic means. i am ready to share this money with you 60/40 that is 40% for you and 60% for me because I will arrange all the necessary documents for the smooth release of this to you, please note that there is no risk involved in your side because this money is clean and clear fund without any criminal record . Please get back to me as soon as possible with the below personal details so that i can conclude the arrangement, we can get this money out to you within 4 days because i have finish the important paper work already before sending this email to you.
i will be coming to your country as soon as you are in position of this fund for investment, please try your best to keep this transaction confidential.
Country of Origin:
Kindly reply with above details.
Thanks and God bless you
Mr. Emerson Alexander