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:
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "David MONGO" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 01:25:57 -0500
Subject: Please keep this transaction confidential
Please accept my apologies if this request does not meet your personal ethics as it is not intended to cause you any embarrassment in whatever form. I got your contact email address from international domain directory and decided to contact you for this transaction that is based on trust.
I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of ($58M) million to your account. The transfer is risk free on both sides hence you are going to follow my instruction till the fund is transferred to your account.
Therefore, kindly send me your complete information, your full names and address, Your Private telephone and Fax numbers, Your Private email address, Your Age, Your Country, Marital Status, Your Occupation and Your Personal Mobile Number. Please if you are disabled please dont reply.
I will furnish you with more information also note that you will have 40% of the above mentioned while 60% will be for me.