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:
- "million british pounds" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Greg Berman" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mr.Greg Berman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2015 10:20:42 -0500 (EST)
Good Day, I am sending you this mail in good faith, I'm Mr. Greg Berman, a British citizen currently undergoing medical treatment for cancer. I want to donate the sum of six Million British Pounds to you for the good work of God, I have an account with a financial institution in Europe where I deposited my assets worth six Million British Pounds for a fixed period, I have just been informed by my doctor that I only have few months to live due to cancer illness and I am about to end the race like this without a child Having known my condition, I have decided to nominate you as my beneficiary,My desire and purpose is for you to promote humanitarian works. I.e. assisting the less privileged, I will be glad if you contact me for more details on this noble project of mine.
Mr. Greg Berman.