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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Vivian Price" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 22:35:40 +0100
Subject: Re: Confirm
In submission to unearth a lasting solution to cushion the Global Financial Crisis on global investment and closure of some multinational companies in most super countries of the world, the United Nations Organization and European Union, through the debt management Unit established this contact to inform you that you have been selected as the beneficiary of the first batch 2017 UN Global funding with the approval code no UNGA/EU/ORG-X3TH/032017. This global funding is geared toward redressing the financial problems facing world economy, which involves provision of fund to selected individuals, cooperate bodies, and grant of aids to poor countries for infrastructure developmental in order to enhance peoples standard of living.
Reference to the United Nations Millennium Development program and it target, this body, in conjunction with European Union, ECOWAS and US Government, have selected you through a random sampling to benefit from this program with approved sum of S$11,300,000.00 (Eleven Million, Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) only.
To claim your award, you are advised to contact our official paying bank HSBC Bank LONDON on the below contact for immediate release.
Officer in charge: Mr. Scott Manures
Position: Director, International Private Banking