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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Andreas Tautscher" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 02:39:00 -0800
Subject: GOOD NEWS!
My name is Andreas Tautsher, Global Head of Offshore Banking at Deutsche Bank. A contracted staff of Perez and Hamilton contacted you earlier concerning Mr. Mohamed Abdul Ramah and an investment placed under our bank's management 10 years ago. I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information you came by as a result of this mail. I contact you independently of our investigation and emphasize the reason of this communication. I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you. I am due for retirement soon henceforth I want to make this happen before I retire.
In 2000 the subject matter; Mohamed came to our bank to engage in business discussions with our private banking division. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio of Thirty two million United States dollars. After some time we did not hear from Mr. Ramah again, I was then given the task to investigate his where about only to find out that he has died and he left no next of kin in his file, that is where you come in, I want you to act as the next of kin to this deceased. I will explain more to you as soon as I get back your response with readiness to assist, for your assistance, you will have 40% of the funds and 60% goes to me.
I await your response. Please reply to my private email
Note: Do not at any time contact me through my official email for security purpose.