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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "BARR. NII OFORI ATTA" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 21:13:49 +0000
Subject: TREAT AS URGENT!!!
My name is Barrister Nii Ofori Atta, I work in the sunrise bank legal department. Apparently, one Richard Matsen have come to assert that you are ill and hospitalized but before you were rushed to the hospital, you assigned him to come for your claims in the sum of US$946,512 which was long deposited in your favor.
You are by this notice required as a matter of urgency to reconfirm receipt of this email hence your funds will be paid to the account as provided by Richard Matsen
Barrister Nii Ofori Atta
On behalf of The Sunrise Bank Team