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:
- "million 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)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Frey eugene" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 09:49:35 -0700
Subject: Re Hello Dear
I am Mr Frey eugene a banker holding position of assistance director general foreign remittance department in United bank of Africa here in Cote D;Ivoire Abidjan I have a business proposal of $30 Million United States Dollars which I want you to handle for me from my bank as a next of kin to the bank deceased customer (ENGR RON MORRIS) he was among the victims of Monday, 31 July, 2000, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK.
which will not take us much time and i will use my position here in the bank to make sure the bank transfer the fund direct into your account beside no risk to fear. If you are interested I shall send to you the details of the business. Also this matter should be a confidential between you and me and please delete it if you are not interested. Thank you for your anticipated co-operation.
Add me on Skype for private conversation my Id is (frey.eugene1)
Mr Frey eugene