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 us 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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Sat, 7 Nov 2015 15:59:30 +0530
Subject: I NEED YOUR HELP
I hope my e-mail meets you well, I am in need of your assistance My Name Is=
William Bill of the engineering Unit here in Baghdad in Iraq; we have Abou=
t $20 Million US dollars that we want to move out of the country in two dig=
ital boxes. My partners and I need a good partner out there,Someone we can =
trust to receive the funds on our behalf.It is oil money and legal we have =
made arrangements with a United Nation Courier service that will move the f=
unds out of Iraq as a Family Treasures, the most important thing is; Can We=
Trust you once the funds get to you?, simply take out 30% as your share an=
d keep the remaining 70% for us Your own part of this deal is to find a saf=
e place where the funds can be sent to, ours is sending it to you safely al=
so you can view the Link http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm=
If you are interested I will furnish you with more details upon receipt of=
your response and contact details But I can assure you the whole process i=
s simple and we must keep a low profile at all times.I look forward to your=
reply and co-operation. Regards, William Bill=20