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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- in your country. write me on this my personal email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org regards, mrs. suzanne mubarak. (Myself; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2016 16:00:50 +0200
Subject: Urgent and Important Transaction
Greetings! Although, I do not know you in person; I am Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak from Egypt. There is a war in Egypt. As a result of political crisis and my husband have a serious problem with the government, for this l need your assistance to receive my reserved fund for safe keeping or for reinvestment in your country.
Be inform, all requirement to transfer the fund to you little by little will be in your name as l will tell my bank you are my foreign manager. If you will render your service to me I will pay you 30% percentage out of the total amount of (50,000,000.00) (U.S.D)
The fund is deposited in Standard Chartered bank Asia, notify me if you can handle my fund as l have made inquiring on how l can transfer the fund to your country for investment and l was advised that l must employed a services of local Citizen in your country. Write me on this my personal Email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak.