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:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Nicole Clark" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2019 04:26:52 -0700
Subject: Dear friend!!!
I know this means of communication may not be morally right to you as a person but I also have had a great thought about it and I have come to this conclusion which I am about to share with you.
INTRODUCTION: I am a banker and in one way or the other was hoping you will cooperate with me as a partner in a project of transferring an abandoned fund of a late customer of the bank worth of $18,000,000 (Eighteen Million Dollars US).
This will be disbursed or shared between the both of us in these percentages, 45% for me and 45% for you while 10% will be for expenses both parties might have incurred during the process of transferring.
Also according to the agreement if the payment year expires and the account holder or partner wishes to claim the said funds, the claimer has to re-activate the account. The cost of the re-activation will be paid by both of us.
Contact me immediately if that is alright for you so that we can enter in agreement before we start processing for the transfer of the funds. If you are satisfied with this proposal, please provide the below details for the Mutual Confidential Agreement:
1. Full Name and Address
2. Occupation and Country of Origin
3. Telephone Number and Next of Kin
I wait for your response so that we can commence on this project as soon as possible.