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:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Doug Macpherson" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2021 21:22:04 +0100
Subject: URGENT REPLY
How are you doing?
Please do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet yourethics, I am Doug Macpherson an external auditor of a reputable bank. In one of our periodic audits, I discovered a dormant account, which has not been operated for the past three years. From my investigations and
confirmations, the owner of this account is a foreigner who died long ago and since then nobody has done anything as regards the claiming of this money because he has no family members who are aware of the existence of neither the account nor the funds. I have secretly
discussed this matter with a top senior official here and we have agreed to find a reliable foreign partner to deal with us although due to his position he did not want to take an active part but as soon as you follow my instructions everything will be successful because we
will be working hand in hand with him. With this purpose to do business with you, standing in as the next of kin of these funds from the deceased and after due legal processes have been followed the fund will be released to your account without delay and we will use it for
investment and to assist the less privileged in the societies because if we left the fund with the government it will be fortified for
nothing and will be used to suppress the poor masses in the society.
On receipt of your response, I will furnish you with more details as it relates to this mutual benefit transaction. Do contact me immediately whether or not you are interested in this deal. If you are not, it will enable me to scout for another foreign Partner to carry out this deal.
But where you are interested, contact me URGENTLY for more details as time is of the essence in this business.