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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MISS. LILIAN ALEXANDER" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2021 03:18:32 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend
I am Miss LILIAN ALEXANDER. a computer scientist with Bank Of Africa.
I am 26 years old, just started work with B.O.A. I came across your
file which was marked X and your released disk painted RED, I took
time to study it and found out that you have paid VIRTUALLY all fees
and certificate but the fund has not been release to you. The most
annoying thing is that they cannot tell you the truth that on no
account will they ever release the fund to you, instead they let you
spend money unnecessarily.
I do not intend to work here all the days of my life, I can release
this fund to you if you can certify me of my security, and how I can
run away from this Benin Republic if I do this, because if I don't run
away from this country after i made the transfer, I will be seriously
in trouble and my life will be in danger. Please this is like a Mafia
setting in Benin Republic, you may not understand it because you are
not a Benine.
The only thing I will need to release this fund is a special HARD DISK
we call it HD120 GIG. I will buy two of it, recopy your information,
destroy the previous one, punch the computer to reflect in your bank
within 24 banking hours. I will clean up the tracer and destroy your
file, after which I will run away from Benin Republic to meet with
you. If you are interested.
YOU WILL SEND THE FEE FOR THE HARD DISK FIRST BEFORE I MAKE YOUR
TRANSFER OR YOU BUY THE HARD DISK IN YOUR COUNTRY AND SEND IT TO
ME,DON'T CONTACT ME IF YOU CAN NOT SEND THE HARD DISK FEE FIRST OR THE
HARD DISK. AS SOON AS I RECEIVED YOUR EMAIL I WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW
MUCH THE DISK WILL COST YOU.
Do get in touch with me immediately,You should send to me your
convenient tell/fax numbers for easy communications and also re
confirm your banking details, so that there won't be any mistake.
Miss LILIAN ALEXANDER