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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: lucy benjamin <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 12:16:47 +0000
I am Miss Lucy Benjamin from Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast).I am 24 years old girl orphan that is as a result of i have no parent I have about US$5.2millions that i inherited from my late loved father Mr Benjamin I want to invest this fund in your country with your consent, co-operation ,assistance ,advice and help
Secondly on your full acceptance to work with me regarding this purpose kindly indicate your interest by reply back to me so that I will furnish you with the needfully information and the details on how to proceed further
May God bless you for your prompt attention.
My best and Lovely Regards to you and all your family as you contact me on my privet mail for more details (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I need your guidance.
Ms Lucy Benjamin