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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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: "Dr. Oleksandr Rekhniuk" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2014 15:02:02 -0700
Subject: Investment Purpose.
I am Dr. Oleksandr Rekhniuk, a personal treasurer to Mikhail Khodorkovsky the Richest man in Russia and owner of the following companies:Chairman CEO: YUKOS OIL (Russian Largest Oil Company) Chairman CEO: Menatep SBP Bank (A well reputable financial institution with its Branches all over the world), I want to reprofile the total sum of $63 MillionUnitedStatedollars to your country or any part of world where you maintain an offshore account for immediate investment without barring any delay.
It has been carefully networked with my experience and for the past three months I have worked out everything to ensure a hitch-free operation, if you can be honest with me, then you will take 35% of the total fund. However, I am presently in London from where I will be handling the transaction with you for confidential reasons.
I will appreciate your help & cooperation.
Dr. Oleksandr Rekhniuk
NB: PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND IF YOU CANNOT HANDLE SUCH AMOUNT.