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:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: "Dr Scott" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2017 22:37:24 +0100
Subject: GOOD DAY
Do take a moment to consider the contents of this email. My contact to you is strictly personal and confidential, i dare not contact you via my official email to maintain the absolute confidentiality required in these deal.Please whoever this email meets, i seek your co-operation and to introduce my self i am Dr. Scott Mills and i work for an intermediary bank by name Exodus bank. I discover from my bank data assessment as the bank auditor general that a deceased customer left in one of his accounts $480 million united states dollars and no one is aware of this for the past 7 years 8 months. After few hours of meeting with the board members, the conclusion to this was that the family be contacted but there is no trace of them.
I am in search of someone who is financially buoyant that can allow me file in his/her name as the heir/next of kin to receive this money with 0:00 percent risk free after which we can share the money 50/50 . If you re interested
you can reach me on my private email; firstname.lastname@example.org
I await your response if interested.