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.
- 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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Hope Bay" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2017 14:01:49 +0100
Subject: Concerning Your Unclaimed Fund
I am Mrs. Hope Bay, 53 years old and a Canadian. I reside here in the United States but I am thinking of relocating since I am now rich. I am one of those that took part in the Compensation in West Africa many years ago and they refused to pay me, I have paid over $65,000 while trying to get my payment, which was all to no avail then.
So recently I decided to travel to WASHINGTON D.C with all my compensation documents and there I was directed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Executive Chairman (Martin J. Gruenberg) to contact Mr. Gwarzo Mounir who works with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Nigeria (where all unclaimed funds from the entire west African region has been deposited for safe keeping and onward imbursement to rightful beneficiaries). Thanks to his assistance; right now I am the happiest person on earth this new year because I have received my compensation funds of $15 Million US Dollars. Back at Mr. Gruenberg office he handed me a register to confirm my details, the register contains full information of those yet to receive their payment and I saw your name and email as beneficiary. I decided to email and ask you to stop dealing with the so called officials in West Africa, they are only trying to make money out of you, Mr. Gruenberg enlightened me by saying that it is only through Securities & Exchange
Name : Mr. Gwarzo Mounir
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
You really have to stop dealing with those people contacting and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until nothing is left. The only money I paid after I met Mr. Gwarzo was just $393 for the paper works and necessary documents, and please take note of that.
Once again stop contacting those people, and contact Mr. Gwarzo Mounir so that he can help you to deliver your fund.
Be blessed as I wish you the best. Happy New Year.
Mrs. Hope Bay