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:
- "million 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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs.Maria Josephine Goldberg <Food.PX@saschina.org>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2016 00:28:35 +1000
Subject: Re: Please Reply Me..
I am (Mrs.Maria Josephine Goldberg) a banker by profession from Ghana in west Africa and currently holding the post of Audits and Account manager in my Bank ( Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited) i have the opportunity of transferring the left over sum of ($10.5 Million Dollars) that belongs to late Mr Rudi Harmanto from Indonesia who died along with his entire family in the Asia Earth Quake (TSUNAMI, DISASTER IN INDONESIA / INDIA. 2004, and since then the fund has been in a suspense account.
Because of the static of this transaction i want you to stand as the next of kin so that our bank will accord you their recognition and have the fund transfer to your account.
this money can be shared between us in the ratio of 50/50;
However, further details of this transaction and the text of application form will be forwarded to you as soon as i receive your return mail. I am waiting for your immediate response as you receive this mail.
Mrs.Maria Josephine Goldberg