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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "hundred thousand u.s 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)
- 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: "Mr.peter barry" <firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 01:17:57 -0300
Subject: URGENT RELPY IS NEEDED
To Whom It May Concern, I kindly want to put in notice before you, my
names Mr.peter barry , A citizen of South Africa, I am in India presently
seeking for a reliable and trust worthy fellow to assist me of my late
Father money, which I transferred from Barclays Bank London Uk. to Reserve
Bank (RBI) in India, for an investment purpose.
The said amount is Three million Two hundred Thousand U.S Dollars
($3.2Million) I have done a reasonable research and find out that is not
easy for Foreigner to have an account for such a huge amount, so I want
you as a Citizen of India to assist me by transferring this Fund into your
nominated Bank account, and twenty five percent (25%) will be offer to you
for the Work well done.5% for any expenses that may arise Please, if you
email@example.com: do contact me as soon as possible.
I await swift response by mail
Thanks for your co. operation.
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.