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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "offshore account" (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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: awudu huga <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:59:30 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: QUICKLY REPLY ME
I am Mr Awudu Huga. of B.O.A Bank in (Burkina Faso). I got your
email account while searching for a business oriented personality in
my private study in the internet. I bring forth a business proposal in
the tune of US$10 million U.S dollars to be transferred to an offshore
account with your assistance acting as beneficiary and next-of-kin to
If you know you are capable of involving and partaking in this
transaction, please send down the following personal details to me at
this my private email address for briefing: [firstname.lastname@example.org]
(3)Age and Sex:..........................
(5)Private phone number:...................
(6)Current residential address:..................
Mr Awudu Huga.