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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Laurn Rica <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 02:23:00 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Urgent reply for more detail.
Â Dear friend,
My name is Mrs Lauren Rica. I am from Burkina Faso West Africa. I work with bank of Africa here in Ouagadougou as an audit account manager.
How are you? I know this message might meet you in utmost surprise. However, it's just my urgent need for a foreign partner that made me to contact you for the transfer of fund into a foreigner bank account.
Mrs Lauren Rica