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:
- "million 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)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: BARR MARK EDWARD <ROBMARK@uajy.ac.id>
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 21:41:17 -0800
Subject: Do Not Ignore!!!
My name is Mr Mark Edward, I know this will come as surprise to you but it doesn't matter because whatever i did was for your own good, i hope you remember the cheque of 1.5 million issued to you some time ago, although you backed out because there was so much trouble with the authorities and so much money was asked to be paid to get the cheque out of these offices and courier services.
At this point, I must let you know that i was able to get the cheque out and i deposited this cheque with the paying bank for cash, an account was opened in your name and the cheque was lodged in, presently the fund is safe and you can still receive it by wire transfer.
All you need to do is acknowledge as the reciepient so that we can know how you want to receive the funds either by wire transfer or through an ATM debit card, all arrangement have already been made to prove that this fund will get to you without spending a dime from your pocket.
I spoke to a financier who will handle the financial aspect of this transaction but at the completion of the transaction he will be given %10 of the total $1.5 Million dollars.i hope this will not be a problem to you because every fee that will be ask for by the bank will be made known to you but the financier will remit all fund to pay directly from your address to make it transparent.
If you have forgotten about the fund completely you are free to let go but if you still need the fund and want to get the money to ensure you make up for all your troubles, then get back to me and i will let you know how this can be handled for the transfer to take effect to your account.
I will need you to respond back if you want this to happen, it is not by force because i will not ask you for a dime but just to redeem myself that i did not inform you wrongly concerning the $1.5 million Dollars.
Waiting to here from you.
Barr. Mark Edward