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 united state 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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a "Yukos oil" scam. The criminals who send such emails have no connection to Yukos Oil. The emails are usually sent from Nigeria. The only money that ever changes hands in this scam is from you to the criminals.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mackey H,Morris" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2020 06:45:31 -0800
Subject: UNCLAIM FUNDS OF USD$146,000,000.00
My name is MR. Mackey H MORRIS, Director of operation with HSBC Bank in UK, I am very sorry if this is an inconvenience in any way, just that i need you to see me through with this transfer. This business request may seem strange, but I crave your indulgence and pray you view it seriously as I am convinced that you would be capable to provide me with a solution to a money transfer.
I have the documents of a large amount of funds which Mr. Boris Mikhail Khodorkovsky Deposited with bank through his personal assistant and since then the said sum has remained unclaimed with us before he was detained and tried in Russia for financing political parties (the Union of Right Forces, led by Boris Nemtsov and Yabloko,a Liberal/ Social Democratic Party led by Gregor Yavlinsky) opposed to the Government of Mr. Vladmir Putin, the current President of Russia,thereby leading to the freezing of his finances and assets.
However from our investigation we discovered that his personal assistant that made the deposit was dead and there was no proof of his next of kin from our record and would need your assistance to be the next of kin as to enable me siphon out the said into your account thereby we could use same for an
investment in your country.As soon as the fund transfer is successful, I will come over to your country for the disbursement of the fund according
to the agreed percentage indicated.Reply me if interested without much delay as I am due to submit final report on the matter few days from now.
After searching through the books of your Country's Chambers of Commerce and Industries in USA, I am contacting you to assist me to re-profile the funds and equally invest same with you . The total amount of funds to be re-profiled is one hundred and Forty Six Million United State Dollars (USD$146,000,000.00) and
you will be paid 20% for your management services.& will invest with you.
As soon as I receive your acceptance through my personal email.
I will send you the necessary details.