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 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: lilian kone <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2010 13:01:12 +0530 (IST)
Subject: Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you.
I have the feeling that this piece of mail will reach you in a perfect
state of mind and in a better healthy condition. While searching
through the net, I came across your contact address and decided to
contact you. I believe and also have the feeling that in todays world,
neither race,age,nationality nor religion will any longer posse a
barrier to male/female relationships. Although, we do not know each
other well but I will really like to have you as a friend or pen pal
if that is better for you.
I am Miss Lilian Kone, single lady of 23 years old, Currently in
Dakar, Senegal in a refugees camp.My hobbies are reading and watching
movies. While I hope to hear from you soon, I also look forward to
recieve some information concerning you, your family, country and even
your personal life experiences. This will give us the opportunity of
knowing each other better and be able to understand ourselves more.
may God bless you as I wait to hear from you