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:
- "million british pounds" (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)
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Ahmed Idris" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2019 12:10:48 -0500
Subject: ***SPAM*** Mein guter Freund, My Good Friend,INVESTMENT PROPOSAL LFHZEEBMXD
My Good Friend,
I am Dr. Ahmed Idris from London, the account officer to Mr. Rafik Hariri, the Lebanese born Millionaire, Rafik Hariri was a Lebanese self-made billionaire and business tycoon, and was five times Prime Minister of Lebanon. I am seeking for your kind partnership with me. I know this letter will come as a surprise to you, since we do not know ourselves before, but be sure it is a matter of genuine interest. You can view this page for confirmation.
I got your mail through my private search and out of desperation I decided to reach you through this medium. Mr. Rafik Hariri deposit 36,759,000 million British pounds in my bank, here in London, and I want to partner with you as to transfer and invest this money in your country. The need to move this money arose when the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that some of the money held in dormant accounts will be used for youth and community projects. You can read his comment about this fund on this website. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4017381.stm
I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this direction. As the present Prime Minister come on power I am contacting you for your kind assistance to move this fund for investment to avoid been credited to Government treasure by January ,2020 as was instructed by the former Prime Minister Now let me ask a few questions: -
(1) Can I completely trust you?
(2) I am ready to offer you 35% of this (?36,759 000.00), I hope it is acceptable by you?
Please consider this and get back to me as soon as possible for more information through email@example.com
Thank you very much
Dr. Ahmed Idris