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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: George@ns15.zabco.net, Culmer@ns15.zabco.net
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:20:38 GMT
Hello! Dear partner,
Good Day to you, I hope this message finds you in a good health condition. I
have an urgent business proposal and I hope we can work together to achieve
this goal. If you don't want to work with me, please kindly forget it and I
will not contact you again. I have packaged a financial transaction
involving the transfer of Four million seven hundred fifty thousand POUNDS
(£4,750.000.00). This transaction will benefit both of us - I offer you 35%
while you will keep 65% for me till I join you. It is 100% risk free and
legal. Please, do get back to me asap and I will forward the full details of
this befitting transaction to you.
Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.