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:
- "here in london united kingdom" (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 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: DANIEL STURRIDGE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 08:42:14 -0700
Subject: PLEASE GET BACK TO ME
I write to seek your assistance to move out fund valued £7,522,600 GBP
(Seven Million, Five Hundred and Twenty-two Thousand, Six Hundred
British pounds Sterling) only.
My name is Daniel Sturridge, a banker based here in London United
Kingdom, I am going to be presenting you as available beneficiary to a
late client. This is because you have the "express ticket" that is
most valuable to the success of this pursuit (your last name). Since
you have a similar last name to the late account beneficiary, it will
be most credible to establish you as the next of kin/beneficiary. I
took this decision basically because of this reason and I hope it is
going to open up a good business relationship that will stand the test
of time between you and I. We will agree on percentage when I receive
your response. It is very urgent.
My kind regards,