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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Sonia Bernardi Benini <email@example.com>
Reply-To: " Mrs Bushra Rajiha" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2019 08:32:55 -0300 (BRT)
Subject: BEST REGARDS
DEAR GOOD FRIEND
My name is Mrs Bushra Rajiha the wife of the late General Daoud Rajha.
who was the defense minister General, that was assassinated by
opposition rebel groups in Damascus Syria, my late husband was
assassinated on the 18 July 2012 ever since then the group rebel has
been putting a very close eyes on i and my family we have not been
granted freedom. am sending out this massage with tear seeking for a
reliable person to assist me investment my late husband funds over
there in he or her country.which my Late husband was successfully moved
to Turkey during the crisis before he pasts away.
I shall reward you 20% of the investment capital funds amount
$5.8million United state dollars.if your interested kindly get back to
me for further
details.via email: email@example.com I Shall visit you with my
once the funds get's into your account for the onward investment
project.Kindly get back to me with the following information's of yours
to enable you retrieve the funds.
1. Your Full name & Age:-----
Occupation & Position:--------
Above all, I wish to assure you that the funds in question is not an act
of Terrorist Funding, neither Money Laundering nor Drug-funding.
Thus,the transfer will follow the normal protocol of funds transfer,
backed up with its papers so that you will not encounter any
difficulties/problem with your Federal Monetary Control authorities. I
await your urgent response.
Thanks and God bless
Mrs Bushra Rajiha