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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "huge amount of money" (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: "KUPE OIL GAS" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2017 13:55:50 +0100
Subject: RE: IS IMPORTANT YOU GET BACK TO ME
Greetings to you.
I am aware that the Internet has become very unsafe, but considering the situationI have no option than to seek for foreign partnership through this medium.For security reasons I will not disclose my Identity untilI am fully convinced you are the right person for this business deal.I have access to very vital information that can be used tomove a huge amount of money to a secured account outside United KingdomWe can meet in any of these locations Dubai, Spain, UK, Canada. or South Africa.
Full details /modalities will be disclosed on your expression of Interest to partner with me.
I am open for negotiation importantly the funds to be transferred have nothing to do with drugs,
terrorism or Money laundering.
Thanks for your anticipated corporation.