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:
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "is highly confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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: "DUDI HAROLD" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:30:40 -0300
Subject: YOUR URGENT RESPONCE IS NEEDED.
With due respect,
By introduction, My Name is Mr. Dudi Harold, a banker by profession
From South Africa, currently holding the post of an external auditor
in accounting, I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum
of Twenty-Five Million United States Dollar to your abroad account;
this money has been dormant for years in our bank without claim and
this bank will automatically transfer this fund to the bank treasury
as unclaimed fund after this year if no one comes for it.
Due to my position in this bank, I was called and asked to reveal a
successor of some accounts in the bank; on the process, I found out
some fund was left without indication of successor in the electronics'
files and other book keeping file of the originator account. It was by
then I assume it to be a great opportunity to contact you since you
are a foreigner so that we can handle this deal together and get this
fund transfer abroad for investment.
I assure you that there is no risks involved in this transaction
because it is something I studied very well and with my position in
the bank, I have the right to register your information as the right
owner in the bank electronically file and other bank keeping file
I hereby called for your urgent respond and upon your reply; I will
direct you more on how this business will be executed and after the
transfer 30% of the total fund will be your share.
This is highly confidential as the success of this business depends on
how secret it is kept based on my past experiences.
Mr. Dudi Harold
( firstname.lastname@example.org )