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:
- "i will give you 35% " (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)
- "can i trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Capt.Troy Peterson. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2017 12:15:46 +0100
Subject: PLEASE GET BACK TO IT IS VERY URGENT...
Good day to you and family i am correctly a noble safety in Iraq. I kindly need your assistant to help accomplish me with a treasure funded here,now under my care.
rest assured that this project is 100% risk free.There is no trouble because I did my home work very well. i will explain the origin of the treasures to you in our next email.
All the banks where camped is not working because of the crisis here if you are watching CNN you will understand what i mean. Can i trust you? If you are capable to help me receive this treasure, I will give you 35% of the total. I want to be sure if you are capable no matter what it takes. I have make all the necessary arrangement on the means of moving it out safely. Can i trust you? Please get back to me on the email immediately for security reasons.
I will like to know if you're interested in doing that for me so that i can give more detail on how to proceed.