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:
- "offshore 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "KENNY LU"<email@example.com>
Date: 13 Jul 2019 14:46:03 -0400
Subject: Please advise on lucrative areas for investment.
I am looking forward to your assistance in transferring an overdue investment shares fund totaling $28 Million USD to an offshore account, precisely to a safe personal or company account. Afterward, investing in a profitable business will be my major priority.
However, given the very open nature of this financial transaction which is objectively outlined below, I feel there are opportunities to reduce the time and speedily initial time leaving more resources for accomplishment.
(1) Assist in the transfer of the said figure.
(2) Advise on lucrative areas for investment.
(3) Provide a good bank account for the transaction.
(4) Your share is 35% of the total figure.
I will be pleased as soon as you indicate your interest, include your private contact mobile number and other contacts details in order for us to proceed.
I will furnish you with further information with reference to this transaction as soon as I hear from you.
Mr. Kenny Lu