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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447053660949 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Kevin Doran" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 29 Feb 2016 13:53:00 +0100
Subject: Re: The Reason I'm Contacting You
Please do accept to partner with me on this urgent proposal. I got your contact through a private
search on a directory and had a deep feeling that you will be reliable and capable of assisting I
accomplish this transaction.
I am Kevin Doran, the Chief financial officer from a Bank, here in United Kingdom. The reason for this
email is to seek your partnership for a business transaction that will give us a great opportunity of
being in possession of an unclaimed sum of $12.5M ( Twelve Million, Five Hundred Thousand United
States Dollars Only ), an investment deposit that belongs to our late foreign Customer.
The reason for contacting you came as a result of the need to present a foreigner as a beneficiary to
the fund since our bank has not seen any of the relatives that came up to claim this fund, and also for
the fact that the board has resolved to allow this fund to be confiscated by the British Government in
the event that no beneficiary comes up. As an officer of this bank, I cannot be directly connected to
this money, so my basic aim of contacting you is to assist me receive this money in your bank account
as a beneficiary, and get 40% of the total funds as commission.
I will provide you with all the necessary information and documents from the involved authorities to
legally back up the claim, so that this $12.5M will be transferred to your nominated account
If this proposal satisfies your interest, then get back to me with the below information: FULL NAMES,
TELEPHONE/FAX, MOBILE NUMBERS, ADDRESS, AGE / SEX and OCCUPATION.
I will appreciate it very much if you do not make undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed on
you. I assure you we can achieve it successfully.
Fax: +44 (705) 366-0949