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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "very confidential" (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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Trudian Green" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <mr.trudiang@ yahoo.de>
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2016 06:37:47 +1000
I am Mr. Trudian Green, Am the bill and exchange manager of United Bank of Africa (UBA) International Accra Ghana. Here in this bank exists a dormant account for the past years which belongs to an American national who is now late, who died in republic of Ghana on January 31, 2001. When I discovered that there had been no deposits or withdrawals from this account for this long period, I decided to carry out a system investigation and discovered that none of the family members nor relations of the late person is aware of this account.
Now I want an account overseas where the bank will transfer this fund. Thereafter, I will destroy all related documents to this account. It is a careful network and for the past eleven months I have worked out everything to ensure a hitch-free operation. The amount plus all the accumulated interest is 3,500,000.00 EUROS only.
What will be your commission if you can facilitate the movement of this fund to your account? Send me the following details information:
Finally, it is my humble request that the information as contained herein be accorded with every confidentiality and the necessary secrecy it deserves I expect your urgent response.