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 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)
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev John Clark" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2019 23:56:25 +0530
I am sending you this mail in good faith. I'm Rev John Clark, an British citizen currently undergoing medical treatment for cancer. I am a dying man who have decided to donate the sum of £8 Million Pounds to you for the good work of humanity, I have an account with a financial institution in Europe where i deposited my assets worth (£8,000,000.00) for a fixed period, i have just been informed by my doctor that I only have few months to live due to the cancer illness. Having known my condition that will not allow me claim the funds personally; I have decided to nominate you as my beneficiary since the financial institution have now written me that the length of time agreed upon to hold my funds is now expired. My desire and purpose is for you to promote humanitarian works. I.e. assisting the less privileged. Please contact me for detailed information on this noble project of mine.
Your brother in Christ,
Rev John Clark.