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:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mike Torres <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2017 22:43:08 +0100
Subject: Good Day
Please Whoever this email meets, i need your co-operation and to
introduce myself i am Mr Mike Torres and i work with an
intermediary bank by name Exodus bank . i discovered from my bank
data accessment as the bank auditor general that a deceased
customer left in one of his accounts $700 million United States
Dollars and no one is aware of this for the past 7 years and
eight months . I am in search of anyone who can allow me file in
His/Her name as the benefactor to receive this money with 0.00
percent risk free after which we can split the money 50/40 and
then 10% goes to the lawyer in charge . I await your response if