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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Hein Rich <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 23:33:37 +0000 (UTC)
IÂ know my mail will come to you as a surprise, but never worry because i will not compel you to honour it against your will. I am a financial consultant of Coris bank International here, I have emailed you earlier without a response. In my first email I mentioned about a deceased bank customer whose relatives i cannot get in touch with.The reason i contacted you is for us to work together in the claim and for you to stand as his official next of kin. I am compelled to do this because i would not want the bank to push the late customer`sÂ funds worth Thirty Seven Million United States Dollars only (US$37,000,000.00) into the state treasury as unclaimed inheritance. If you are interested in the deal do write me for more details.