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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "Alex W. Chamberlin" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:49:31 -0500
Subject: Re: Your Consent
London, United Kingdom 01/19/2015.
I am Alex Chamberlin, a lawyer to Prince Fayad Bolkiah, the eldest son of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, former Finance Minister of
Brunei. As you may know from the international media; the
Sultan had accused my clients father of financial mismanagement and impropriety. This was as a result
of the Asian financial crisis that made his father's company Amedeo Development Company and
government owned Brunei Investment Company to be declared bankrupt during his tenure in
office. Visit webpage. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/670959.stm
In addition, before my client's incarceration, He went ahead to dispatch some cash under special
arrangement into the custody of different private security and Trustee Companies for safe
keeping abroad. The money was splited and kept in the following countries in different
proportions in UK, Canada and the balance in United States of America .
Hence I seek your good assistance to invest these funds into profitable investment in your
country to facilitate future survival for my client and his family abroad. Please I count on your absolute
confidentiality, transparency and trust, while looking forward to your prompt reply towards a
swift conclusion of this transaction.
kindly respond to me on email@example.com