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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Kahan, James A." <JAKahan@columbus.gov>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 07:40:56 -0400
Subject: Keep this proposal as a top secret
Keep this proposal as a top secret
Please I would like you to keep this proposal as a top secret and delete it if you
are not interested and get back to me if you are interested for details as regards
to the transfer of $24,500,000 to you.
This money initially belongs to a Libyan client who died in the libya crisis and had no next of kin in his
account-opening package in my bank here in Hong kong where I am a bank director.
In other to achieve this, I shall require your full name, and telephone number to reach you.
Most importantly, a confirmation of acceptance from you will be needed after which I
shall furnish you with the full details of this transaction.
Email address: email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mr. Wong Yong