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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: MR JAMES HANS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2016 12:31:46 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend,
It interests me to contact you after my investigations on your
capability and sincerity.
I have interest of investing in your country as well as seek your
services in a private and confidential matter.I am Auditor General in
Bank Of Africa Republic Du Benin On my routine inspection I
discovered a dormant domiciliary account with the deposit of
($9.6Million USD}by late Mr Ahmed Khalead without any hier .I write
to seek your indulgence and assistance in moving this fund to your
country through legal means.
NOTE: My plan is to invest my own share of the money in your country.
1. What other lucrative investments would you suggest as I intend to invest
on REAL ESTATE AND HOTELS if they are good business venture in your
2. Can you be able to make residential documents and purchase a house
for me and my family to relocate and settle in your country after my
retirement in 3months time.
Let me know if you can handle it so that we can discuss your own % .
Your Full Name and Address,Your Age,Occupation and Position,Your
Telephone, Mobile and Fax Number for Communication Purpose.
I wait for your urgent response.
MR JAMES HANS