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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: brad keyman <email@example.com>
Reply-To: brad keyman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 04:39:02 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re.Citibank Switzerland:Reply
Â Hello Please!
I am Brad Keyman, Manager in charge of Sovereign Wealth Funds in Citibank Switzerland; I propose to arrange a grant of at least US$10.5 million to you for business investment.
This grant attracts absolutely no interest, and will stay on Citibank Switzerland Books for 36 months, after which it will be written off! This is possible because Sovereign Wealth Funds in my charge usually remain dormant (inactive) for years because some leaders of Switzerland who made the initial deposits intended to steal the funds after leaving office. But, they are either kicked out or killed in Office, and the Sovereign Wealth Funds accounts then go into dormant mode.
I can therefore arrange to give you at least US$10.5 million grant WITHOUT conditions, except that you must set aside 50% of US$10.5 million for me, as soon as you receive the grant of US$10.5 million.
If you are interested, then respond ONLY via my private email. Please clearly indicate the following.
Your full names/Company :
Your Mobile phone number:
Your complete address:
A Scan Copy of your Identity:..
Thanking You my dear friend.
Mr. Brad Keyman