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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Greg Ndile <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Greg Ndile <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2015 04:10:58 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: This is Mr Greg
Â Dear Friend,
I have the sum of Sixty Eight Million Eight Hundred Thousand United State Dollars Only. ($ 68.8M) in my department and i need a trust worthy person overseas who will help me to receive the money based on 60% for me and 30 % for you to the receiver while the balance 10% would be for incidental expenses.The money was generated through over invoicing of various government contracts. The funds are deposited Currently with a prime bank in Ghana.If you are interested send down The Following personal details to me: Name and Address, Phone number is easy communication. More detail on your expression of interest.