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)
- "00,000.00" (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: "Mr. Mahdi Kaamil" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 22:23:16 -0700
Good day. I am Mr. Mahdi Kaamil. I am working with one of the prime banks in Burkina Faso. I have decided to contact you for a financial transaction which values $13,300,000.00 (Thirteen Million Three Hundred Thousand USA Dollars). This is an abandoned fund that belongs to a late foreign customer of our bank. I want a foreign account where the bank will smoothly transfer this fund.
I was very fortunate to come across the deceased customer's security file during documentation of old and abandoned customers files for an official re-documentation and audit of the year 2017.
If you are really sure of your sincerity, trustworthiness, accountability and confidentiality over this transaction, contact me urgently. I will let you know the next step and procedure to follow in order to finalize this transaction successfully.
I expect your urgent communication.
Mr. Mahdi Kaamil
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