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 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.
Fraud email example:
From: konvolb khosla <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2014 08:53:03 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Dear Friend,
I am working with one of the prime bank here in Burkina Faso, can you help me repatriate the sun of 14.3million dollars to your oversea Account Based on percentage.(1) Can you handle this project?Â (2) Can I give you this trust?Â (3) What will be your commission?I expect your urgent response if you can handle this project.Best Regard's,Please kindly Â reply to my alternative email Â address email@example.comMr.Konvolb Khosla.