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:
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: Bernard Raoul <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2017 09:09:05 +0000
Subject: MY PROPOSAL TO YOU
An important and confidential business proposal. My name is Mr.Bernard
Raoul.I`m looking for an urgent need for a foreign partner that led to
my contacting you about this mutual transaction. I am a banker by
profession and currently holding the post of Chief Auditor in our
Bank. I have the opportunity of transferring an unclaimed funds (9.5M)
Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars belonging to one of my late
clients. Having no one coming up to claim his funds and if left
unclaimed will be transferred to the government treasury by the
bank.Hence, I am inviting you for a business deal where we can
facilitate the transfer of this fund and have promised 50% as your
percentage once we are through, If you agree to my business proposal
send your full data names,telephone number and address. Further
details of the transfer will be forwarded to you.