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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "CITI BANK PLC"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 04:16:36 -0700
Subject: THEY TOLD US YOU ARE DEAD ,PLEASE RECONFIRM IMMEDIATELY
OUTSTANDING PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
Your Long overdue Payment.
I saw your email ( in the Central Computer among the list of unpaid
contractors, inheritance next of kin and lotto beneficiaries that was
originated from Africa, Europe, Asia Plus Middle east, Americans ) among
the list of individuals and companies that your unpaid fund has been ocated
to the CITI BANK PLC AFRICA, ECOWAS.
Your email appeared among the beneficiaries, who will receive a part-payment of your
contractual sum and has been approved already for months.You are requested to get back
to me for more direction and instruction on how to receive your fund.
However, we received an email from one Mr. Virgle Lee Samples who told us that he is
your next of kin and that you died in a car accident last week. He has also submitted his
account for us to transfer the fund to him including his International passport, we want to
hear from you before we can make the transfer to confirm if you are dead or not.
Please in confirmation that you are still alive, you are advised to
reconfirm the below listed information to enable us facilitate an immediate payment for you.
1 Your full names
2 Your present contact address.
3 Your telephone & Fax numbers.
4 Your Occupations/age/sex.
5 Your Private Email Address.
6 Home Equity (Yes or No)
Once again, I apologize to you on behalf Of IMF (International Monetary
Fund)for failure to pay your funds in time, which according to records in the
system had been long overdue.Feel free to contact me va-emails, below:
MR. MARIO MADY.