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)
- "million us 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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 (Outblaze.com, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Assat Biloy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2014 18:48:58 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Reply As Soon As Possible
Contact Me On My Email:( Â email@example.com Â )
Â Dear Friend,
Thanks for responding to my proposal. My name is Dr.Joshua Rudolf, from Republic of Ghana.I contacted you in good faith to work with you with utmost sincerity and transparency.All I need from you is co-operation and honesty.
I contacted you because you have the same surname with one of our late customers who Deposited a total sum of Â ( $10.5 Million US Dollars ) in United Bank for Africa (UBA). Our client was involve in an air cash Â that claimed his life and his family. My Head Office has issued a letter for me to locate Â his relative who will stand as next of kin to claim the said funds. In accordance to the letter I started searching for his relative but to no avail. All search efforts proved abortive.
I therefore contact you to stand as my client relative since two of you are bearing the same surname to claim the inheritance. I am compelled to do this because I would not want my Head Office to push this funds into the bank treasury as unclaimed inheritance. Â I will furnish you with all the necessary documents related to this transaction if you agree to work with me,
Please note that this transaction is 100% RISK FREE.
I am waiting for your approval so that we can commence arrangements.
Â Send to me the following information if you are interested to concluding this transaction with me.
Your Full Name:..........Contact Address:.........Telephone Number:........Profession......Age......
As soon as I receive the above mentioned I will submit it to the Bank your details as the Next of Kin through our legal representative in the bank. I look forward hearing from you soonest.We are arranging this project with the top director of the bank so there is nothing to fear about.
Yours Sincerely,Dr.Joshua Rudolf.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Â Â