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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united state 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:01:04 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: I Need Little Assistance
Â Good Day My Good Friend,
Let me start by introducing myself,
i am Mr. Ibrahim Younes, the director of foreign remittance with Africa development bank(A.D.B)Burkina Faso here in west Africa.
I am wetting you this liter busy on latest development in my bank which i we like to bring you in. the sum of Six Million United State Dollars ($6.000.000 USD) which i will like you to stand as beneficiary so that i will use my status as the director of foreign remittance department to transfer this fund into your account.
This is legitimate Transition after the transfer let's share 60% for me and 40% for you if you are interested,am waiting for your urgent reply so that we will start immediately. Sorry if you received this letter in your spam, Due to recent connection error here in my country.
Kindly Contact me for more details if you are interested in the deal