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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "William Harry" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 09:05:44 +0100
Subject: Please Confirm Your interest
I am William Harry. I work with an Investment Company here in United Kingdom.
I have a proposal that could be of benefit to both of us if you
agree to work with me. I have at my disposal an Investment account
that has a huge sum of money in it. This account was abandoned by the
owner and not operative for more than 10 years and every effort made to
reach the family members of the account owner proved abortive. I am
proposing to you a partnership if you are willing to help me transfer
this money safely to your country where I can use my share for
investments where possible. I have made every research regarding to this
account and found out that it is safe to transfer the money to a foreign
country and that is why I am contacting you to see if you can help.
If you understand my proposal and wish to partner with me, then provide
me with the information below.
Your Full Name:
Your Complete Address:
Upon the receipt of your acceptance mail, I will give you every detail
of this account.