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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million us 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 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: =?UTF-8?B?RFIgR0FSVVMgS0FSQQ==?= <email@example.com>
I AM DR GARUS KARA FROM BURKINA FASO BANK OF AFRI=
CAN I HAVE A GENIUE BUSINESS TRANSACTION OF $20.5MILLION US DOLLARS (TWENTY=
MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND USD) TO TRANSFER INTO YOUR OVERSEA AC=
COUNT, IF YOU ARE INTERESTED SEND TO ME THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IMMEDIATE=
YOUR FULL NAME......
br>YOUR MARITAL STATUS.....
YOUR PHONE NUMBER.....
PLEASE KINDLY REPLY TO MY ALTERNATIVE EMAIL ADDRESS BELO=
ONCE I RECEIVE ALL THE INFORMATION FROM =
YOU, I WILL SEND TO YOU THE APPLICATION LETTER WHICH YOU WILL FILL AND SEND=
TO THE BANK IMMEDIATELY.
DR GARUS KARA<=