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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. DONALD LUCAS" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2013 20:45:49 -0800
I am Mr. Donald Lucas, I work in a Bank as an account officer to late Mr.Roman Blum who happened to has a deposit sum of $10.5 Million USD with our
Bank Before he died of illness last year. I have try to contact any of his relative without a success, this is the reason why i send this mail to
I want you to stand as his relative so that our Bank can release this Fund to you. With my help as his account officer everything will be okay
if only you can follow my instructions. He has no heirs to all his Fund and Estates. He also has deposit to other accounts in U.S.A, Australia and
Please read more for confirmation through this link. http://www.startribune.com/printarticle/?id=205034191
All I need from you now is your CELL PHONE NO, CONTACT ADDRESS, OCCUPATION and DATE OF BIRTH. This is what i need from you to present to our Bank for the claim as the beneficiary of the Fund. As soon as our Bank release the Fund to you, we will invest the Fund in re-estate or any other business you may advise.
Hope to hear from you soonest,Please use this email to reply me back ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Mr. Donald Lucas