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.
- 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:
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: "M. Souleymane" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "M. Souleymane" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 07:22:19 -0700 (PDT)
My message might come to you as a surprise. I Hope that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you for the mutual benefit of our both families. On the course of the last year 2012 business report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the manager made USD $4.5 Million USD (Four Million Five hundred thousand United States Dollar)which my head office are not aware of. I have arrange how to move the fund to your bank account.As an officer of this bank I cannot be directly handle this transaction. so my aim of contacting you is to assist me receive this money in your bank account.I will give you full details on how the business will be executed and also note that you will have 40% of the above mentioned sum while 50% will be for me, and the other 10% will be for the expencess that might be occur in this transaction your full data's will be required for the claim as the next of kin to the deceased person: if
you are interested or you agree to handle this business with me as top secret.
1) Real Names:
2) Phone/Fax numbers:
4) Residence address:
5)Date of Birth: