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:
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Edward Mant" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2018 10:08:04 -0700
Subject: Urgent Response Please
I am Mr. Edward Mant. department of Financial Auditing Sector Surveillance with NAT WEST BANK LONDON PL C. I have a recovered funds of $10.5 Million US D (US$10, 500,000.00) been an over the invoice amount abandoned in a dormant account I have secured these funds to invest at abroad, I want to process this claim in your name legally, to avoid being confiscated following the setup plans to confiscate all unclaimed funds in UK Banks.
I have arranged to move this fund after all the legal changes of the fund's deposit certificate to your name through Telegraphic Transfer (T/T) Bank to Bank to your account, confirm-able in your account within 72 hours (3 working day)
Send your following information below for the processing of this fund's claim in your name and a copy of every document procured in your name will be sent to you for your personal perusal, This transaction requires absolute confidentiality as a top secret because no other person outside me has an idea about this funds.
(1) Your country form of identification (international passport/ Driving License copy).
(2) Your Occupation/Profession.
(3) Your private telephone/cell numbers,
(4) Full Name and address of your person.
(5) Age and Marital Status.
You are entitled to a share of 30% of the above-mentioned sum and 60% will be invested in your place, while 10% will be for the expenses incured during the processing of these funds in your name as the true beneficiary legally tat will be reimbursed accordly.
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Edward Mant.