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.
- 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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.Sheriff Ahmed" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2018 20:43:34 -0500
Subject: Hello ...
I am Mr.Sheriff Ahmed from Syria. right now in London at the moment as a political refugee because of the problems in my country.
I have a huge sum of money deposited in an offshore escrow account by my late father and I need your urgent help to quickly move this money from the present place to another country of your choice in your name for investment, it is the only thing left for me now and I want to start a new life with it. This transaction requires immediate attention because of the political
situation in my country (Syria) and i do not want to lose this money.
It is a huge sum of money and I am ready to offer you 30% of the money to stand as the beneficiary and transfer to a new bank account of your choice. I believe you can help me, but on the contrary please forgive my indulgence and delete this e-mail content without sharing
If you are interested and able to handle this for me in all honesty without any betrayal of trust that I shall repose on you then contact me for more details.Please note that this transaction is confidential and should be kept in top secret until we have completed the transfer to your appointed account.
Thank you very much for your understanding.