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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "united state dollar" (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: "David Kufur." <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "David Kufur." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 11:46:22 -0800 (PST)
My Dear Friend.
I have this business i will like to contact you for but if only you can be trusted; my name is David Kufur I am an accountant with Barclays bank.
The arrangement of this deal is for you to only assist me have the said fund transfer into your bank account through the bank internet online banking transaction.
The said fund is (USD$4,730,000.00) four Million seven Hundred and thirty Thousand United State Dollars Only. And will like you to work with my advice so that we will not make any mistake.
Since the transfer will go through online that means there will be no delays for immediate transfer, will also like to offer you 40% for the total funds as commission.
If you are willing to assist me on this proposal therefore go ahead and fill the below information;