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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "can i trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: ewan charamba <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2020 10:05:37 +0000
CAN I TRUST YOU??
Attention: Sir/ Madam
I am Mr. Martin Taylor, from 25 Gresham Street London EC2V 7HN, United Kingdom. I am contacting you in a business that will be of benefit to both of us. I need your urgent assistance in transferring equivalent sum of $5million to your bank account.
This money has been here in our Bank lying dormant for years without anybody coming for the claim of it. I want to release the money to you as the business partner to our deceased customer Mr. Christian Eich (the account owner) who died along with his supposed next of kin since 31 January 2000.You can confirm the genuineness of the business by visiting this web site: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm
By indicating your interest I will send you the full details on how the business will be executed. Please keep this proposal as a top secret and delete if you are not interested.
I expect immediate indication of your interest by sending email through my alternative e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Best wishes to you and your family.
Mr. Martin Taylor