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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Hafiz Hariri" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:05:05 -0800
Subject: FWD Financial Centre
250 Clemenceau Street, BBAC s.a.l. Building,
Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2080 Lebanon
P.O. Box: 11-1536
Beirut - Lebanon
I am a senior manager with the treasury department of a global financial institution in Beirut Lebanon.
I would like to discuss a highly sensitive and confidential brief with you which is involves a huge sum of money. The involved sum of money is $47 million USD. I am contacting you for the purpose of seeking your partnership in re-profiling these funds.
I will need your permission of consent before I give you further details into my business proposal.
I look forward to your response soon.