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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "dear friend" (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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "HON. NDUDI. ELUMELU" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "HON. NDUDI. ELUMELU" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:44:13 +0000 (UTC)
Â Dear Friend
I have a Mutual / Beneficial Business Project for you worth millions of dollars.
1. Can you handle this project?
2. Can I give you this trust?
Please note that the deal required high level of maturity, honesty and secrecy because this Involves moving or siphoning some money from my office, on trust to your hands or bank account.Â Also note that i will do everything to make sure the money is moved out as a purely legitimate fund, so you will not be exposed to any risk.Â I am quite aware that there are a lot of scams and advance fees Fraudsters all over the Internet, so to have your full trust, I request for your co-operation full.Â I will give you details and procedure when i get your reply, To commence this transaction, I require you to immediately Indicate your interest by a return reply to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HON.Â Ndudi.Â Elumelu