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)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Barr. Simons Rodkin" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2017 08:35:51 -0800
Subject: Good day,
I am writing to you on behalf of Chinaâs Former Security Chief Zhou
Yongkang. My name is Barr. Simons Rodkin, and I am a top
executive/legal adviser with the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China
(London) Limited. Bank website is http://www.icbcasia.com, I decided
to drop this letter for you while i was in brief in Australia.
My friend Chief Zhou Yongkang has presented a subtle offer, which will
need the help of a partner like you to complete successfully. Mr. Zhou
Yongkang is in a difficult situation and he must immediately relocate
certain sums of money out of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.
More so, this must be done in such a way that it must not be tied to
Chief Zhou Yongkang. The sum is currently deposited in the name of an
existing entity. Your role will be to:
. Act as the original beneficiary of the funds.
. Receive the funds into a business/private bank account.
. Invest/Manage the funds outside of China.
. Value of funds: $50 Million US Dollars.
Everything will be done legally to ensure the rights to the funds are
transferred to you. If you agree to partner with Mr. Zhou Yongkang,
will compensate you with 25% of the total sum. Should you prefer I
re-contact you with more express facts, you can send me your:
 Full Names:
 Personal profile:
 Daytime Telephone No:
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me for further
details, for terms and agreement.
Barr. Simons Rodkin
Executive / legal adviser
The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (London) Limited
Telephone: + 44 793 714 9995