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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Anthony Gibson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2016 09:19:46 +0100
Subject: I will appreciate your timely response.
I got your contact email address through a personal search and decided to let you know about this packaged financial transaction that will benefit us. I am Mr Anthony Gibson, the Auditing Manager of the Zenith Bank.
On the course of the 2015 end of the years report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the manager made Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars(US$10,500.000.00 ) of which my head Office is not aware of and will never be aware of, I have also PLACED this fund on ESCROW CALL ACCOUNT without a beneficiary.
As the manager in the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I am compelled to request for your assistance to receive this money into your bank account. I will compensate you with 40% as gratification while 50% will be for me and 10% will be set aside for any expenses. Please If you accept my offer, kindly contact me on my private email contact email@example.com for more details.
In course of this transaction, there are practically no risk involve because It will be a bank-to-bank transfer.
I will appreciate your timely response.
OFFICE OF THE AUDITING MANAGER.
NOTE: Please if however, you are not disposed to assist, kindly delete this email in view of the confidentiality and let me know as soon as possible to enable me look for Capable one.