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:
- "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.
- 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: Godwin Abah <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2016 18:45:21 +0100
Subject: Good News
Please consider to help me relocate this $15m USD for establishing an industry in your country. This fund was deposited in our bank by Mrs. Nina Wang from Hong Kong who died of cancer on April 3rd 2007 without a heir.
A routine notification was sent to her forwarding E-mail address but without responses. She did not declare her next of kin in the bank official papers including her real home contacts.
Click here ;( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6524861.stm)
This money has been floating and if I do not remit it out urgently it will be confiscated by the government as unclaimed fund. You will be compensated with 40% for your collaboration to receive this fund.
I will give you all vital information and clarification when I receive your reply