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:
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Vicnes Thaman." (may be fake)
Reply-To: < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2014 23:13:27 -0700
Subject: From Vicnes. Plz Read.
I am Vicnes Thaman, with Malaysia Ministry of finance. I have an offer that might interest you which will culminate your financial status perpetually, this offer arose from the Government of Malaysia reserve vault under our care, from which we pay both Indigenous and foreign executed contract and Sub contract Payments. I need your assistance to stand as a beneficiary to the sum of us$20,000,000.00 (Twenty, Million United States Dollars.
The only thing needed for this US$ 20 million to be swiftly wired into your account Via payment by Telegraphic under 72 Banking hours is how swift and committed you will be in standing as the bonafide sub contractor to this amount of $20 million and a bank account that will be used in accommodating this fund, which we shall legally accredited / normalize at the Federal High Court of Justice here in Malaysia.
All modalities are in place to register this transaction as a diplomatic Sub contract payment, which shields it from unnecessary stop orders from several international fund transfer regulatory and monitoring agencies, that usually place holds on huge fund transfer in order to request a certain percentage of the fund as fund transfer certification clearance.
Please note that if you desire to accomplish this transaction with me, l advise you to send the followings to my private email: email@example.com
A: Your Full name B: Your House Address C: Your direct telephone number D: Age E: Occupation.
Waiting for your reply soon. Have a nice day!