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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
Fraud email example:
From: "FRANCISCO ANDALUZ" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 06:25:54 +0200
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL
My name is Mr. Francisco Andaluz; I have been in the employment of the (SPANISH NATIONAL LOTTERY) www.loteria.com for seven years. I am soliciting your assistance for a swift transfer of 3.000,000 (THREE MILLION EURO) should you be willing to assist me in this project we shall be sharing the funds 50-50.
Please be rest assured that this project is ready for execution and it is 100% legal and risk free as long as you follow my instructions as the originator. Just as a brief, the funds in question are actually from unclaimed lottery winnings payment, putting my influence within my company in place, I can legally establish you as the supposed winner and put up a claim of the above funds which would be sent to you promptly under the official presumption that you are the actual winner.
I would be generating an electronic ticket in your name to show that you actually played and won the above stated funds, all of the official matters would be taken care of by me internally, through our computing system.
Should you be willing to assist me in this transaction do contact me on my email: email@example.com I would like us to put all the conversations through email for both safety until the funds has been transfer to you.
This is a confidential deal.
Mr. Francisco Andaluz