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)
- "you will be entitled to 30%" (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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "offshore 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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Josefina N Tan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2016 23:37:00 +0530
Subject: Buisness Proposal
I am Josefina N Tan, I did made contact with you using the directory of
the international chambers of commerce which all banks uses to sort for
international clients,There is a development at the bank where I have
worked for at first when it was Equitable PCI and after it merged with
Banco De Oro in 2007, I remained working there till date ;the purpose I
have contacted you about a business offer i want to bring to you, on this
strength and with the hope that we will go into business,it is valued at
the sum of 10.2million USD of which you will be entitled to 30% of the
total money which is approx. $3.6million united states dollars after
completion; please note this is a risk free business which will follow
through all international laws of banking.there will be no cost from your
side than you providing an international offshore account in your name to
receive the money for both of us, I will be delighted to hear from you as
soon as you read this as it is urgent and limited.