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 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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Andre Sekulic" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2019 06:24:54 -0700
Subject: THE HEIR
I am Mr.Andre Sekulic, Trained and working as an Account Officer for the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS).
I write to contact you about a foreigner bearing the same name as yours, who died here in Singapore, over a decades ago leaving behind an estate/capital FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS here in Development Bank of Singapore.
However, the Investor died intestate, no next-of-kin, nobody came forward all these years to lay claim of the inheritance. I have decided to work with you to secure the funds, and propose 20% offer for you.
If you are interested, you are advised to email me through my private email(email@example.com) the following information stated below:-
i. RE-CONFIRM YOUR FULL NAMES:
ii. CONTACT ADDRESS:
Upon hearing from you, I will unfold more details and how to commence in the transaction.