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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Alhajii Hassan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Alhajii Hassan <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2013 07:39:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Good Day To You,
Good Day To You,
My Name is Alhajii Hassan; I am a banker by profession. I am from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa. My reason for contacting you is to transfer an abandoned fund$10.6M US Dollars to your account if you agree with me.
The owner of this fund died since 2004 with his Next Of Kin. I want to present you to the bank as the Next of Kin/beneficiary of this fund.
Further details of the transaction shall be forward to you as soon as I receive your response indicating your interest in handling this transaction.
Have a great day,