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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "From: James Bradley" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 23:44:38 +0200
Subject: From: James Bradley
From: James Bradley
Hi, my name is James Bradley from Sydney, Australia, I am an E.C. patient, and presently hospitalized, my doctor says I have a few months to live, and I desire to stay within the confinement of my hospital room and live out my last days on earth quietly. I asked that my hospital room be equipped with a laptop so that I can take care of some outstanding issues. One of which is my desire to donate a sizable amount of money to cancer research institutes and other deserving charity organizations, so I decided to go online and find some one remotely afar who can receive the funds from where it is presently deposited and disburse the money to cancer research institutes and other deserving charity organizations. By the way the full meaning of (E.C.) is Esophageal Cancer, and don't mind the time taken from your busy schedule to work with me on this sole act of charity, because you will surely be compensated.
Indicate your wiliness to assist me by sending an email to my private email box (email@example.com), by doing so I will be able to send you more details.