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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Rotimi Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 05:39:52 -0800
Subject: Did you assign your money to Mr.Malone?
For your urgent attention,
May i inform you that one Mr. Donald Malone from Canada presented a deed of assignment to us alleging that you signed it few weeks ago to enable him collect your funds with the federal Government of NNigeria. He claimed that you died One week ago of terminal cancer, If you read this email then it means he is fake but if you fail to respond in four days we will assume he is right and release your funds to him.
For security reasons i will give you details upon your reply.
Mr. Rotimi. Williams.
PA, Finance Minister,