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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "CAPT JOHN MAYOR" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 14:24:48 +0100
Subject: Re: UPDATE
Good day and compliments, i know this letter will definitely
come to you as a huge surprise,I am Capt. John Mayor, a US
Marine, serving in the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment
which Patrols the Anbar province, Iraq.
I am desperately in need of assistance and I have summoned up
courage to contact you. I am presently in Iraq and I found
your contact particulars in an address journal. I am seeking
your assistance to evacuate the sum of $10,570,000 (Ten million
Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand USD) to the States or any safe
country, as far as I can be assured that it will be safe in your
care until I complete my service here.
This is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved.
Please Contact me via my private email So that I can furnish you with more details.
God bless America.
Capt. John Mayor
United States Marine Corps. IRAQ (USMC)