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:
- "await your urgent response" (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: "Mr.Peter O'Brien" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2017 23:59:37 -0500
Subject: URGENT INFORMATION NEEDED
My name is Peter O'Brien from Dublin , Ireland . Based on good
recommendation that you are a straight forward fellow and reliable to do
business with in areas of investment and financial partnering, I am
writing to acquaint you of a transaction and monetary transfer of US$45
I need a partner to have custody of funds and we can invest on Real Estate
which is at the low presently.
As long as trust and mutual goals applies we are already have all
arrangement sorted to swiftly conclude this transfer with you.
I await your urgent response and give me your direct phone number.