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)
- "transaction is risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2017 15:40:53 +0200
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL.
My dear friend,
I am Mr Alberto Mansini, the chief accounts operating officer with my bank and I want to inform you that an amount of Euro 16.6 million will be transfered in your favour as the Foreign Business Partner to our late deceased customer Mr.Edward Bryan. I need your help to receive this money as we shall share the proceeds in the ratio of 60:40%.Be rest assured that this transaction is risk free, as there is no known or existing next of kin as beneficiary to the late mr.Bryan's estate.I am and have been the custodian of this portfolio with absolute control of all matters relating to this funds deposit.
Please send your full names, direct telephone numbers, and home address, more details of how to claim the form will be given upon your reply.
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