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: Abou Hassan <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Abou Hassan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2015 01:58:06 +0900 (JST)
Subject: GOOD DAY,
With due respect to your person and great sincerity of purpose in which I decide to contact you as I believe you will be of great assistance to me. Meanwhile, it's just my urgent need for foreign partner that made me to contact you for this transaction. I am a banker by profession from Burkina Faso in West Africa and currently holding the post of Director Auditing and Accounting unit of the bank.
I have the opportunity of transferring the left over funds ($ 12.5 million) of one of my bank clients who died along with his entire family on 31 July 2000 in a plane crash.
Hence, I am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared between us in the ratio of 60/40. If you agree to my business proposal further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as soon as I receive your return mail.
Update me with your personal information such as;
Your Full Name ................
Your Sex ....................
Your Age ..................
Your Country .................
Marital Status ..................
Your Occupation .................
Your Personal Mobile Number ..................
Your Personal Fax Number ...................
Have a great day.
Mr. Abou Hassan,