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:
- "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)
- "there is no risk involved" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. James Adjei" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Dr. James Adjei" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 05:48:17 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: YOUR URGENT RESPONSE IS HIGHLY NEEDED.
My name is Dr. James Adjei The branch manager of Standard Chartered Bank. I am a Benin by birth, 48yrs of age and married with three children. I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit both of us.
As the branch manager of the bank, it is my duty to send financial reports to my head office in the capital city of Benin republic On the course of year 2011 end of the year's report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the manager, made Nine million three hundred us dollars ($9,300,000.00), of which my head office is not aware and will never be aware of it.
I have since then PLACED this fund in an ESCROW CALL ACCOUNT without a beneficiary.
As the branch manager of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this Money thus, I am impelled to request for your assistance to receive this money into your bank account. I intend to part 30% of this fund to you while 70% shall be saved on my behalf and my information technology officer.
I do need to assure you that there is no risk involved in this Business. It is going to be a Bank-to-Bank transfer. All I need from you is to stand in as the original depositor of this fund. If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response be informed that I will be sending you all the in house information's that will help in you applying for the administrative wire transfer processing procedures.
1. Your Address:..................
2. Your Phone/Fax:....................
3. Your Present Country:................
Dr. James Adjei,