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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mike Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:19:28 +0000
Subject: Re: Happy New Year/Urgent..
Happy New Year and Good day to you...I am very sorry to contact you in this manner. I got your email address on Business Directory on Internet, Let me
introduce myself to you. My name is Mike Smith an Account Officer with a Financial Firm. I am seeking your urgent assistance and trust to stand as Next
of Kin to my late client who leave behind funds/inheritance of ( Ten Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ) and I want this funds to be
transfer into your bank account for Investment purpose. This transaction is 100.1% Legitimate and Genuine, No risk involved. Kindly get back to me if you
are interested in this proposal. Also send me your direct cell phone number.