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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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. Jocab Adam" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2016 20:04:01 -0700
My name is Mr Jacob Adam, a banker and the account officer of a late Chinese billionaire Mr. Lam Kok who died in a helicopter crash in France on December 21st 2013.
I handled some his financial transactions in via our investment arm of the First National Bank, before his death, he secretly deposited US$48.5 million (Forty eight million five hundred thousand US Dollars) no one knows about this money so I want to present you as his next of kin of this fund so the bank will pay the fund directly to you as the next of kin because I can perfect all the necessary documentation which will make the bank to pay the money to you as the next of kin.
Please if you are interested in this transaction, get back to me immediately because it is very urgent and also send me your full name and your mobile telephone number in your reply to this, please note that this is totally risk free, you will have 50% of the total money.
View this website for more details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25476662
Kindly reply to my private email below as I await your urgent response.
Mr Jacob Adam.
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