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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Robert Cook" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2018 08:09:51 +0200
THIS MAIL IS ONLY FOR THE OWNER OF THIS E-MAIL ADDRESS
This transaction will certainly change our lives but you must understand that life is all about chance and utilization of opportunities that comes our way. PLEASE DON'T BE EMBARRASSED NOR OFFENDED BY MY E-MAIL TO YOU. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT OUT OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE OUT THERE I CHOOSE TO CONTACT YOU. It’s obvious we don’t know each other yet, but we don’t know why nature is crossing our path today.
As an external auditor with HSBC bank, I was consulted by the United Nation Financial Audit Committee (UNFAC) to Audit Helima Security Storage Company in Baghdad (IRAQ). During my Investigation I discovered that in 2003 two U.S soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division deposited a box Seized from an unknown Top Saddam Hussein aide during the war. Both soldiers died in active Service, since then no one has come forward to claim the Box. This Box contains Eight Million, Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars.
Kindly read this more details on BBC online news: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm
I have used my Position to move this Box into a HSBC Affiliate Security Company in Africa, due to lack of Government financial monitoring in over there. This box can be delivered to any destination/address of your choice or the content fund transferred into any nominated bank account of your choice depending as we may agree on as partners, As a HSBC official I cannot lay Claim to this Box (Money), but I can instruct and present you as the original beneficiary to fund.
I got your Contact from your Local Directory while searching for a reliable, trustworthy and serious minded fellow who will Assist Financially and Partner with me to claim this fund. This will not involve any risk; as a staff of this Bank I will facilitate the easy release and hitch-free claim of this Fund.
While replying, kindly include the following Information: Full Name: Mobile Cell phone: Age: Nationality: Occupation: on receipt of this details I will forward the name and address of the Attorney I have consulted to handle this transaction.
I am ready to go 60/40 Sharing ratio with you on the receipt of your consent. Attached is my Bank Identification Card for your perusal.
I am anxiously anticipating your prompt reply via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (ONLY FOR SECURITY REASONS)
This Transaction demands high CONFIDENTIALITY, for my job sake.
Mr. Robert Cook
External Auditor (HSBC)
Direct Email: email@example.com