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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "BOA" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 02:22:05 -0700
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam
This is to inform you that we have verified your contract /inheritance file and found out that why you have not received your payment is because you have not fulfilled the obligations given to you in respect of your fund.
Once again, you have to stop hence your further communication with any other person(s) or office(s) regarding this transaction, this is to avoid any hitches in finalizing your payment. We have scheduled your transfer to be effected through our online banking system. To commence, you need to reply back with your information as listed above to ensure you are the true beneficiary.
1. Full Name:.........
4. Phone number:.....
Your transfer is scheduled to be completed under 14 official banking days, that was because your payment file worth of $7,800,000.00 has less than 21 days to expire in this bank and when it expires, the fund will go into the Federal Government treasury account.