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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Nelly Urayama Zepeda" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 12:02:16 -0400
Subject: INDICATE YOUR INTEREST (Respond Back To Us Via email@example.com)?
I am looking for your cooperation in building a Tourist Hotel or Real Estate in your country. I am sorry if this is not in line with your profession.
I need an experienced person like you to assist me to set up, develop the project and assume responsibility of ownership as chairman but will be bringing in profit /distribute profit monthly or annually.
I shall give you more information. Please contact me at my private email: firstname.lastname@example.org <http://email@example.com>
Chief (Governor) James Ibori.