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:
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Sung LEE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Sung LEE <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 13:26:36 -0300 (ART)
Subject: Good Day
DAH SING BANK LTD
DES VOEUX RD.BRANCH,CENTRAL HONG KONG,
I am Mr.Sung Lee, Auditing and Account Credit Officer, Dah Sing Bank Ltd (Hong Kong).
I do insist in your confidence in this transaction. I am making this contact with you, based on reliable information available to me courtesy of internet business index and confirmed by my local chambers of commerce and industry concerning your reputation.Thus I am convinced you would be capable to provide me with a solution to a money transfer transaction of Forty Three Million, Six Hundred Thousand United State Dollars. This is to seek your cooperation as my foreign partner and your assistance to enable me own a property and invest in the stable economy of your country. Accept my apologies if this mail does not suit your personal or business ethics.
All other information to facilitate the remittance of the funds will be revealed to you in due course. For your assistance, you shall receive 25% of the funds to be transferred and 10% will be set aside for all expenses incurred by both parties. I will appreciate if you can reply me on my personal Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Kindly delete this e-mail if it does not suit your personal or business ethics, as I will gladly appreciate.