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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr.Usman Dante <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2023 03:32:07 -0700
Subject: Good Morning...
I have a proposal for you - this however is not mandatory nor will I in any manner compel you to honor against your will.I am 50years of age and work with a bank (one of the African leading banks in the West Coast). Here in this bank existed a dormant account for the past 8years which belong to one of our deceased customer.When I discovered that there had been no deposits nor withdrawals from this account for this long period, I decided to carry out a system investigation and discovered that non of the family member nor relations of the late person is aware of this account.
This is the story in a nutshell.Now I want an account overseas where the bank will transfer this funds.Thereafter, I had planned to destroy all related documents for this account. It is a careful network and for the past eleven months I have worked out everything to ensure a hitch-free operation.The amount is not so much at the moment and plus all the accumulated interest the balance in this account stands at-(US$10.7 million US dollars) If you are interested kindly get to me for more details