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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "executive governor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: RICHARD IBORI <email@example.com>
Reply-To: RICHARD IBORI <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 06:51:36 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: RE: I WAIT YOUR REPLY.
Â DEAR FRIEND,
I AM RICHARD, STEPSON TO THE FORMER CHIEF JAMES IBORI, THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF DELTA STATE OF NIGERIA. I HAVE IN MY POSSESSION SOME REASONABLE SUM OF MONEY THAT WORTH AN INVESTMENT CAPITAL BUT THE TOP LIST OF MY PRIORITY IS WHERE TO INVEST THIS MONEY OUTSIDE MY COUNTRY AND A TRUSTED FOREIGN PARTNER WHOM I CAN TRUST.
SHOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN MY PROPOSAL, I WILL URGENTLY NEED YOUR RESPONSE AND PROVIDING ME A RELIABLE/GENUINE TRADE OR INVESTMENT PLANS.
PLEASE I WILL KINDLY WELCOME YOUR ADVICE TOO.
CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY ON MY DIRECT PHONE NUMBER (+2348-08-35-625) OR EMAIL ME,