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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Dr John Obi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 28 May 2016 14:02:40 +0100
Subject: RE Attention Fund Owner,
UNITED NATION NIGERIA
>From the Desk of Dr John Obi
Account &Exchange Dept.
Attention Fund Owner,
This is to notify you that there is a new development about your contract/inheritance funds of $5.5m,we have concluded to deliver your funds of $5.5m to you in your country through diplomatic service and upon his arrive to your country he will have to reach on your telephone so that you can conclude the transaction with him.
For further details and assistance on this Remittance Notification, kindly forward your information below .
FULL CONTACT ADDRESS:
TELEPHONE and FAX NUMBERS:
COPY OF STATE ID
I hereby to notify you that the diplomatic did not know the context of the fund is money..
I hope to hear from you soon.
Dr John Obi