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:
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: " Chief Frank Oghenevo" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 13:28:16 -0800
Subject: Urgent Business Invitation
It gives me great pleasure communicating through this medium with you.My name is Chief Frank Oghenevo, i am in charge of contract award/debt verification commission in the federal ministry of petroleum resources in Nigeria.I wish to crave your utmost confidentiality in receiving and investing a substantial amount of money in your country. This money was uncovered in the process of carrying out our official responsibility in the ministry of petroleum resources and no one knows about it apart from me and my colleagues.Upon your response and willingness to assist i will give you the details and procedures of the transaction. All necessary documentations regarding the money will be processed in your favor.Please forward the following details: your full names, residential or office address and telephone number to enable me commence the process.
Looking forward hearing from you as quickly as possible to enable me commence the process.
Chief Frank Oghenevo