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)
- "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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ragner Henderson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 12 May 2016 06:19:37 -0700
Subject: URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED, PLEASE REPLY....
Pardon me for not having the pleasure of knowing your mindset before making you this offer and it is utterly confidential and genuine by virtue of its nature I write to solicit your assistance in a funds transfer deal involving £15.2M.This fund has been stashed out of the excess profit made last 2years by my branch office of the Co-operative Bank Plc here in United Kingdom which I am the manager.
I have already submitted an approved end-of-the-year report for the year 2015 to my head office here in Manchester UK. and they will never know of this excess.
I have since then, placed this amount on a Non-Investment Account without a beneficiary. Upon your response, I will configure your name on our database as holder of the Non-Investment Account. I will then guide you on how to apply to my head office for the Account Closure/bank-to-bank remittance of the funds to your designated bank account.
If you concur with this proposal, I intend for you to retain 30% of the funds while 70% shall be for me. Kindly forward your response to me immediately to my private mail box: (email@example.com) thank you.
Mr. Ragner Henderson.
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