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:
- "deadline" (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: "Tim Wilson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:50:24 +0100
Subject: Write back as soon as possible.
My name is Timothy Wilson, I was the personal accountant of Mr. Neal Walker, an American businessman who lost his life in a plane crash on October 31, 1999. He deposited $30 Million with a bank here in the UK which nobody has claimed since. All attempts to locate any of his relatives have been unsuccessful. I and an insider with the bank have decided to look for a reliable person who is ready and willing to help claim this fund, hence this e-mail.
The plan now is for you to stand in as his relation to get this funds released to you, because the bank has just given a deadline after which the money will be declared dormant in accordance with the bank's policy. In return for your help, you will receive thirty percent(30%) of the total sum.
Write me back if you're ready to work with us on this project.
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