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:
- "please indicate your interest" (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 THOMAS KOHLER <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 30 May 2016 21:42:42 +0100
Subject: Your Attention!!!
My name is Dr Thomas Kohler,I am an independent external auditor and evaluator for the World Bank Group handling the Foreign Banks Debt Management Office.
I have in front of me an abandoned transfer file containing details to an escrow account setup in your name. This file has already been submitted for total cancellation before my office intercepted it.
I have perfected plans to have this funds transferred to you within the next 24 banking hours through a legitimate process.Please indicate your interest immediately to proceed and I shall feed you with full details on the procedure upon receipt of your reply towards this notice.
Dr Thomas Kohler