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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "death certificate" (this phrase is often used in inheritance scams such as next of kin or https://www.419scam.org/419-murdered-businessman.htm">orphan scams. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. FABIAN AKANDU" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2016 12:40:22 -0700
Subject: TOP SECRET, GET BACK TO ME IMMEDIATELY
Please get back to me very quickly for a detailed brief on an ongoing plot to steal your fund from the CBN under a false report that you are dead. Fake death certificate and phony funeral photographs have been circulated at the CBN as evidence to buttress their submissions that you are dead. If this move is not halted quickly you are at the verge of losing this fund to the wrong party. It hurts to find how individuals could pronounce their fellow human dead just to deceive the authorities to steal what does not rightfully belong to them. Itâs a shame to say the least.
Since they have already paid all the fees and bring the file to settlement stage, I believe that this is the best time for you to strike and stay at an advantageous position more than ever before. So I want to guide you on how to quickly stop this criminality and also put the perpetrators behind bars while your fund is released to you as the rightful owner.
For security reasons I would have loved to remain anonymous for now until you reply. However, doing that would be unprofessional, BUT please endeavor to hide my identity as I assist you in this transaction so I donât get hurt or killed. Furthermore, kindly tell me in clear terms what you would do for me once we succeed in recovering this claim and get the fund paid into your account. I await your reply.
MR. FABIAN AKANDU