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 british pounds" (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. Justin Steve Hughes" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:03:07 +0100
Subject: Greetings of the Season !!!
Greetings of the Season !!!
My name is Mr. Justin Steve Hughes, I am a senior staff at Vision Finance Limited, Norwich United Kingdom.
There is this profound opportunity from my company which i will like us to utilize. Simply it requires the participation of any foreign citizens outside United Kingdom, thus I am seeking your consent and acceptance to go into partnership.
Based on maximum spread of news and information on the internet, I wont be able to break down the full detail of this opportunity on this first letter.
This opportunity has a portfolio of GBP 8.1 Million British Pounds.
My lawyer has outlined the professional strategies by which we should handle this opportunity and the deal will not spread or licked.
For more and full detail information about this, I will urge you to respond today to enable me brief and detail you fully on the procedures.
Looking forward to receiving your message today.
Mr. Justin Steve Hughes