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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "Osman Suleyman"<email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2019 10:28:13 +1100
Subject: Almost end of the year!
My name is Osman Suleyman, an external auditor for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Central Bank in North Cyprus. So working as part of a bigger team that covers the entire region. Several details of around 1,000 bank accounts that have not been touched for 10 years or more has been made official to the general public under legal requirements which means that details of bank accounts remaining dormant for at least 10 years must be made public for collection. A total of 15 banks submitted details for the annual list to the Central Bank. An investor who is an account holder of a sect bank here remains in our records without naming any next of kin to his fund. The next of kin status has been officially certified as unknown.
The amount is 11.7 Million Euros (11,700,000:00) and banking regulation/legislation in TRNC demands that I notify the fiscal authorities after three years which is long overdue. The above analysis underscores my reason to seek your permission to have you stand in the gap as the next of kin and beneficiary to this funds. This funds will be approved and release in your favor as the next of kin if only you are willing to adhere to my instructions and also maintain a perfect cooperation in accordance to the directives to be given. I have all the legal and banking details of the depositor that will facilitate our replacement of your name and information as the claimant/beneficiary of the funds and then ultimately transfer the 11.7 Million Euros plus interest to any bank account nominated by you. I am prepared to compensate you with an agreeable percentage of 40% share of the total funds for your participation. The final details will be given upon receipt of an affirmation of your desire to participate as the f
Please contact me through my confidential email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, with the under listed details as given below:
FULL NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, TELEPHONE NUMBER, FAX NUMBER, EMAIL ADDRESS, AND POSTAL ADDRESS.
In anticipation of your fullest co-operation, I will expect your prompt response.