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:
- "hundred thousand great british pounds" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Joser <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2016 17:40:06 -1200
I'm Mr. Darren Woods, an Executive Member of the Audit and
Compensation Committee of Exxon-Mobil in London (
http://www.exxonmobil.co.uk).I have a sensitive and private brief from
the Senior Executives of this top oil company in need of your
partnership to re-profile outstanding funds amounting to £12.5 Million
GBP. (Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds
Sterling).I will let you have the details as you respond immediately,
the funds will be paid to you through our operating Bank where it's
presently deposited as the legalization process is completed in your
I decided to reach you directly to solicit for your assistance and
guidelines in making a business investment in your country, I'm a
citizen of United States working as expatriate with Exxon-Mobil. I
will be happy if you respond quickly to enable me give you
comprehensive details of this business project.
Mr. Darren Woods