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)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr..Michael Swasser" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2017 19:42:07 -0700
My name is Mr.Michael Swasser, I am one of the branch manager of my Bank. I am writing to seek your cooperation over this business deal.Please, no matter how strange or surprising this business might seem to you as we have not met personally or had any dealings before, to the aim of this letter is business that will benefit the both of us. This fund is the excess of what my branch in which I am the manager made as profit during the year in my Head Office and they will never know of this Excess.
I have since then, placed this amount of US$7.500.000.00 (Seven Million Five hundred Thousand United States Dollars) on a SUSPENCE ACCOUNT without a beneficiary.I am currently seeking a means of expanding and relocating business interest in the following sectors: Banking Real estate, Stock speculation and mining, Transportation and Tobacco, Agriculture, Oil and gas and Gold.
I intend to part 30% of this fund to you while 70% shall be for me. It is going to be a bank-to-bank Wire transfer to your nominated bank account anywhere you feel safer.All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund.