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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united state dollars" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "% will be for you" (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)
- "with absolute secrecy" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (126; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: mrpjohnson <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:34:01 +0800 (CST)
Subject: This Is 100% Risk Free do kindly get back to me urgently.
From: Mr. Paul Johnson.
Royal Finance Investment Company.
25th November 2014
Dear Friend (Urgent)
Good day to you and your family, I apologize if the content here under is contrary to your moral ethics but please treat with absolute secrecy and personal.
I am Mr. Paul Johnson An account manager to late Eng: Richard Mark, a business Consultant and major sub contractor in Scotland, on the 27th December 2009, my Client, and his wife and their two kids were involved in an auto crash and it was unfortunate that they all lost their lives. For years now I have done a lot of researches to locate his relations to claim his fund value all to no avail.
I contacted you for the claim of his deposited fund which i use you acting as his true next of kin to claim of the Fund valued $13,500,000.00 million united state dollars then transfer it to your country, Upon your full readiness and willingness I will provide all the necessary information, documents that you will use for the back up on the claim since I am his personal account manager.
Note: 40% will be for you if you are interested do kindly get back to me urgently.
Your immediate positive reply as we proceed as soon as possible.
Mr. Paul Johnson.
Royal Finance Investment Company.