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 united states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Nancy Peters" <iron.@comet.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Nancy Peters" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2016 17:34:17 +0900 (JST)
Subject: FROM U B A BANK
What kept you waiting to claim your inheritance award
fund $900,000,00.(Nine Hundred Thousand United States
Dollars) that was issued out to you as a compensation
Your email is here in our compensation list as one of the
lucky award winner and you are urgently needed to reply
to us with your informations to enable us direct you to the
bank where the fund was safely deposited for security
reasons and await you to claim. hurry and get back to us
immediately you recieve this mail to avoid error
MINISTRY OF FINANCE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT.
Plot 33,ATB Way Cadastral Zone.