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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found 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: Edward Hans <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2017 14:01:39 +0100
Subject: Urgent Reply Needed
I have interest of investing in your country as well as seek your
services in a private and confidential issue. My name is Edward Hans,
an auditor with Scoutts Bank London, On my routine inspection I
discovered a dormant domiciliary account with the deposit of Â£4.6M
(Four Million Six Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pounds sterling) by
our late customer without any heir. I write to seek your indulgence
and assistance in moving this funds to your country through legal
NOTE: My plan is to invest my own share of the money in your country.
What other lucrative investments would you suggest as I intend to
invest on REAL ESTATE AND HOTELS if they are good business venture in
your Country? Can you be able to make residential documents and
purchase a house for me and my family to relocate and settle in your
country after my retirement in (4) Four months time?
Let me know if you can handle this project so that we can discuss your
own percentage (%).
Looking forward for your quick response.