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:
- "top secret" (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: Koffi Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:09:00 +0000
Subject: Read and reply me urgently
It is my pleasure to get across to you, please do not be offended
receiving this message from me as we have not met before .
I am the Mr.Koffi Adams , a director in a bank in Lome , Republic of
Togo, I have US$12.4
Million abandoned foreign contract money in our bank since six(6)
years ago and I have made arrangement to transfer the money out to
a foreign country for investment .
If you are interested and ready to assist me receive the money and
take 50% of the money please reply me immediately with the following
information here below .
1. Your full name......................
2. Your telephone number...................
3. Your resident address...................
4. Your email............................
5. Your profession.......................
6. Your age..............................
I will provide all the documents to clarify the transfer and
legitimacy of the money source as contract money , so if you are not
interested and ready to assist me kindly ignore this mail and keep
this as top secret to yourself alone please to avoid disorganizing my
effort to transfer the money out .
This deal is real and it will be processed through legitimate process
that will not be against the law .
I wait for your reply urgent .
Mr.Koffi Adams .