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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- ",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)
- "is highly confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "DL" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2016 06:00:27 -0400
Subject: Your Reply
My Name is David Lyon a solicitor, I have a client who is in need for investment in your country. She is seeking for a private company or individuals that can manage and invest her funds wisely, she has a huge amount of money in the excess of ($25,000,000) twenty five millions US Dollars. she has agreed a 25% reward to the person who will stand in as a substitute beneficiary to the claim, and additional 5% is set aside to reimburse for expenses in the course of the transaction and the balance of 70% will be invested upon your strong recommendation to my client in your chosen area of investment.
If you are interested and willing to provide this assistance please forward the following information, otherwise do not reply
A copy of Identification: (Driver's license or International Passport)
For me to start the process of Change of Beneficiary to your Name as new owner to the fund. The change of beneficiary will give you all rights and priviledges to claim the fund from the Finance house that the fund is domiciled in their trust account. I will only give further details if you are seriously interested because this transaction is Highly Confidential.
I look forward to a good long lasting business relationship with you.
Barr. David Lyon.