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: Huston Ali <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2021 05:46:05 -0700
Subject: Dear friend,
I'm Mr. Huston Ali, from west africa, I'm sorry to intrude into your
privacy I got your email address through internet via computerized search
after my prayers so I bring to you this transaction which I notify from our
bank an abandon fund which belongs to one of our late foreign customer who
deposited the sum of 10.2 million USD but he died at of cancer and ever
since then no one has applied to claim the fund so I write to you with
confidence that you can be a help so we can get the fund out of the bank, I
want you to apply to the bank as his foreign business partner note that
once the fund is been release to your wish bank account in your country it
will be shared among us in the ratio of 60%40 if you are interested please
kindly forward your details so we can move towards it.
Your Full Name....
Your Bank Name...
Your Telephone Number ...
Your Age And Six....
Your Marital Status....
Your Country City...
Mr Huston Ali...