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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "keep it confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Dario Rogers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:22:42 +0000
Subject: Benefit !!
Kindly consider this e-mail as an invitation to business proposal which will be of mutual benefit to all of us.
I am a Italian citizen working as a director in a Uni-Credit Bank here in Italy. I mandated to commence procedures of paying the large sum to a deceased legal next of kin, thus I am inviting you to come on board and let us work together to make this business a resounding success.
I shall use my offices to ensure that this money is paid to your designated bank account as the legal next-of-kin of the deceased. This is legal and you are required to keep it confidential.
Full details of this business will be disclosed on expression of your interest, as I awaits your positive response.
Mr. Dario Rogers.