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)
- "million us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Stephen Wong" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2022 14:49:49 -0700
Subject: e-mail from CIMB
How are you doing today? I am Mr. Stephen Wong, the Head of Accounting Audit Committee Department of CIMB Bank Berhad Malaysia.
In my department, I discovered an abandoned sum of ($15.6 Million US Dollars) please I need your assistance for the transferring of this fund into your bank account for the benefit of both of us for a lifetime investment.
I have every inquiry document to make the bank believe you and release the fund to you within 5 banking working days, with your full co-operation with me after success. Note/ 50% for you why 50% for me after the success of the transfer to your bank account, kindly get back to me for more details.
Thanks for your understanding.
Mr. Stephen Wong
Head of Accounting Audit Committee Department of
CIMB Bank Berhad Malaysia.