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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Mrs Nora Lewis" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 19:46:21 +0800
Subject: Hello Dear Partner,
My apology for coming into your privacy.
It is because i know you are reliable and can be trusted.
I need your urgent assistance in transferring a huge sum of money
immediately to your account. (amount undisclosed for security reason).
I will send you full details on how the Project will be executed; I want you
to furnish me with these details:
(4)PHONE NUMBER:.............(5)OCCUPATION :..............(6)YOUR COUNTRY:.............
Once i read from you,i will give you more details on how we can work
Please note that this is legitimate,if you get any similiar mail from
someone please do not reply.
After transaction you and i will Share the money between ourselves,the
percentage will be discuss later.
Mrs Nora lewis.
(Attorney at Law)