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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr. SIMON<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2019 07:13:21 +0200
Subject: I LOOK FORWARD TO IT.
I am Mr. Simon Adams, I represent a well-known African family but currently retired from active politics. I have a very sensitive and private brief from this family to ask for your partnership to re-profile a large amount of fund. I will give the details, but in summary, the fund is with Standard Bank of South Africa where they have a considerable stake.
Presently our firm has established a profiling channel through some high profile bankers in Standard Bank of South Africa and we have put a plan in place to move the capital through the assistance of the bankers. We need to present you/your Company as a management Consultant to undertake and complete this re-profiling job. I will send you an elaborate proposal and details of this offer. For security reason our communication should strictly be via e-mail (email@example.com) Write me back. I look forward to it.
Mr. Simon Adams.