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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please endeavor to " (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: "Mr. Charles Wilson" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2016 09:40:30 +0100
Subject: Lucrative Business,
My name is Mr. Charles Wilson I work in a bank . I will need your assistance in this business transaction. I would need your assistance in applying for the next of kin to my late customer, who died of cancer after years of struggling with the disease.
He was a wealthy Business man who deposited a huge amount in our bank. He died without any registered next of kin as he was a divorcee and had no child. On your confirmation of this message and indicating your interest, I will furnish you with more details.
Please endeavor to provide me the following in your reply:
waiting to hear from you.
Mr. Charles Wilson