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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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)
- "million united states 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: "Anna Maria" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:46:04 -0000
345 W. 33 Streets, New York
Phone: (+1) 347 719 9876
I hope my mail meets your personal ethics. My name is Anna Maria and my
colleague Frederick Van Smith; we work as the logistics Manager in One of
the leading European banks based in United Kingdom. I am currently on
maternity leave in the United States of America, I am write to seek your
assistance in transfer of the sum of $21 million USD (Twenty One Million
United States Dollars) belonging to our late customer, Mr. Andreas
Schranner, who died in a air place crash some years ago.
YOU CAN TAKE A LOOK AT THE NEWS INFORMATION OF LATE MR. ANDREAS SCHRANNER
Andreas Schranner executed a contract with Bahamas Oil Company which
fetched him a whooping sum of this fund which is still in our bank. Since
the death of Mr. Andreas Schranner, nobody has claim this money, no family
Member of Mr. Andreas Schranner is aware of the existence of neither the
account nor the funds, Information we got from the London National
Immigration office also says that Mr.Schranner was single when he came
into United Kingdom.
I have confidentially discussed this issue with some of the bank officials
and we have agreed to find a reliable foreign partner and have this fund
transferred to his account for our mutual benefits, which we thus propose
to do this business with you, standing as the new beneficiary/business
associate of the deceased and have the funds released to you after due
processes have been followed.
This transaction is totally free of risk and troubles as the fund is
Legitimate and does not originate from drug, money-laundry, terrorism or
any other Illegal act. Kindly reply me stating your interest and I shall
furnish you with the details and necessary procedures with which to make
the transfer progress.
We are anxiously awaiting your response.
Please reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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