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)
- 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 (163; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Maya" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2016 14:03:52 -0700
Subject: Reply me for more information
My name is Mrs. Maya A. Hassan, i am the wife of Late Dr. Sayid A. Hassan, a medical doctor that worked with NATO rescue team here in Syria.
I got your esteemed contact during my comprehensive research for a reliable and trustworthy individual in your country. I will need your help in this situation I find myself. I lost my only daughter in school bomb attack i am really afraid and i don't know whom to confide in.
I have some money that my late husband Dr. Sayid A. Hassan lodged in a HSBC BANK UK volt with the help of UK red cross International. He made the money in the president of Syrian Compound (Bashar al-Assads) during a search in rescue mission as a Nato medical rescue team. He was later been shot and die during another attack operation by the rebels, I have kept this to myself as secret for a little while and now I need someone I can trust to work and transfer this money out of HSBC BANK UK because the European Financial regulators are scrutiny on individuals that kept money in HSBC BANK UK volt for avoiding tax (you can visit this linkhttp://www.bbc.com/news/business-31627068) and see that if I dont move th!
e fund out from HSBC B
Please I will need your help on this aspect in getting this money out of UK to secure this fund; I can forfeit 25 percent of this money to make sure it is safely transfer to your account until I join you in your country for us to make use of the fund for investment in your country.
Unfortunately, I am in a hospital in Damascus here in Syria where I have been undergoing treatment for kidney failure and Higher blood pressure, this started after I got a shocking news about the death of my only daughter in a bomb attack in school, even I lost my ability to talk and my doctor had just warned me to stay away from any kind of phone communication because of my present condition.
Please get back to me soonest via Email and i will put you in contact with my family lawyer in London who will help easy the process to lift the money from UK Bank Volt. I wait for your respond as soon as you receive this message so that we can proceed on fast, because nobody knows what is going to happen next in this war country that we are living inSyria and i believe you will be of good help in making this a success. I will be reviling the said amount immediately you give me your word of confidence to go ahead for this because is a very huge amount of money.
I had in mind to open and operate a firm in your country as soon as the money is in your possession; I want us to invest the money in a very lucrative sector, from my wide consultations I was encouraged to focus in your country because the economy is growing at a stable rate.
If you know we can do this together judiciously, Please feel free to reply me via Email for more details:email@example.com
Mrs. Maya A. Hassan.