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)
- "with absolute secrecy" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Osmund Patrick" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 16:36:21 -0700
Subject: Plse consider
Good day to you and your family. I apologize if the content here-under is contrary to your moral ethics but please treat with absolute secrecy and personal consideration. I am an Investment Consultant working with UBS AG Bank Zurich at their offshore department office here in the UK. My name is Osmund Patrick. During one of our recent auditing I discovered a dormant account with holding balance of Eleven Million, Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (U$11,300,000.00) only. This is an idle fund deposited in UBS AG Bank Zurich Switzerland, record shows that the fund has been there for long because the owner who is from the United States is dead.
Russian Government will take over the funds soon if we do not apply quickly for the release of the funds. I therefore urge you to give urgent consideration to this offer to stand as the trustee to receive the funds into your bank account and we will share the money 60% for me and 40% for you. Leave the legitimate documentation processes for me to handle. 100% risk and trouble free. It does not matter what job you do, so long as you can provide an active bank account into which the money can be deposited for our mutual benefit, then get back to me ASAP.
If you can handle large or small amount on trust and can keep secret and ready to take 40% of any amount I transfer to your account from the dormant account and I will take 60%, then get back to me immediately with the following details; your full names, address, phone nos. and your bank account information. This money can be transferred in tranches to your bank account. I assure you that this business is risk free, you can send an empty bank account to receive the funds provided that the account is active and can receive incoming funds. Reply urgently via my private email firstname.lastname@example.org for MORE DETAILS.