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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss. Amina Iman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Miss. Amina Iman" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:47:00 +0900 (JST)
Subject: My dear one
My dear one ,
I hereby write
to you for help and assistance as my beneficiary/ foreign partner. I am
Miss. Amina Iman.The Daughter of Late Mr.and Mrs. Iman Ahmed a rich
doctor from the republic of Sierra Leone who was killed during the war. I
am seeking for your assistance to help me transfer the sum of(
$7,200,000.00 ) Seven Million Two hundred Thousand United State of
American Dollars that I inherited from my late father to your bank
account,with your assistance, for investment.
So that I can live
for a more comfortable place and settle and also start a new life. I am
willing to offer you 30% of the total fund as a mode of compensation
after the transfer into your account for your time and effort. All the
documents and details regarding the money are with me intact. They can
be sent to you pending on your request. If you agree on this proposal
and ready to assist me, Indicate by replying this mail.
Now permit me to ask three few questions:-
1. Can you honestly help me as your daughter?
2. Can I completely trust you?
What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you
after the money is in your account? Please,Consider this and get back to
me as soon as possible.
Thank you so much.
My sincere regards,