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:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Vincent Pulika <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Vincent Pulika <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2015 02:07:45 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Hello dear,
I sincerely seek your consent on this urgent and absolute confidential issue. However, I am Dr. Vincent Pulika, Administrative Council president of my bank. One of our late customers made a numbered time deposit valued $17.67Million USdollars before he died in an autocrash years back. This account has been lying waste with nobody to come farward for the claim and none of his paper works specified any beneficiary. This account is long overdue and in accordance with the country's economic policies the fund would soon be reverted into the public treasury if nobody comes up for the claim, and I do not want it to be forfeited for nothing.
I am contacting you so that you would receive the money for us to share 50-50. If you are interested, kindly reply to me immediately so that I can provide you with more details about this.
I await your urgent response.
Dr. Vincent Pulika,