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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Alhaji Abdullahi Bukar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2015 19:43:45 -0400
I have a Mutual/Beneficial Business Project for you worth millions dollars.
1. Can you handle this project?
2. Can I give you this trust ?
Please note that the deal required high level of maturity, honesty and secrecy because this Involves moving or Siphoning some money from my office, on trust to your hands or bank account. Also note that i will do everything to make sure that the money is moved as a purely legitimate fund, so you will not be exposed to any risk. I request for your full co-operation. I will give you details and procedure when i get your reply, To commence this transaction,I require you to immediately indicate your interest by a return reply