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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "the true beneficiary of the funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "here in london united kingdom" (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)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447031993209 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: doodle mailexpress <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2015 00:50:22 +0100
Subject: Treat As Priority
I am Mr. Andy Ubaid; I work with a reputable bank here in London United
Kingdom as the auditing manager in-charge of financial department. As it
may interest you, I got your contact through a business directory during
my last official visit to united states , I was elated the time I saw
your address to propose this business to you because I am searching for a
good and reliable contact to do business with.
I am looking forward to an investment in your country, basically in a
lucrative project which can generate fast profit within a short period of
time and as well seek your indulgence in a confidential business matters.
Presently, in my possession I have documents of a dormant account with a
balance of $ 6.2 million United States Dollars (USD) belonging to a
deceased Korean investor with the name Jung Young-Soo. As at the time of
deposit no beneficiary of the funds was specified by the deceased customer.
I am soliciting for your assistance as a foreigner for me to introduce you
to the bank as the next of kin to Mr. Jung Young-Soo and also the true
beneficiary of the funds so that the bank can approve the transfer of the
funds to any designated bank account in your country.
However, I am proposing to make the transaction a simple bank-to-bank
transfer and 100% free risk, as I have all the documents which the bank may
require for verification. For your assistance, I am giving you 35% of the
total amount. If you are interested to work with me, kindly contact me via
my e-mail address or my mobile number below for more details about the
Mr. Andy Ubaid.