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.
Fraud email example:
From: Julia Kouassi <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2010 21:52:42 -0800 (PST)
Subject: FROM JULIA
Dear Respectful One
Am writing this letter with due respect and heartfelt of tears since we have not known or meet ourselves previously I am asking for your assistance after I have gone through a profile that speaks good of you. I will be so glad if you can allow me and lead me to the right channel towards your assistance,
I am miss Julia Kouassi, 20 years old from Cte d'Ivoire,daughter of Dr .Cluade kouassi. I have 3.5 million USD which was made by my Father before he died in Oct 2005 which was left in a financial security firm. I seek your permission to remit this amount into your account so that I could come to your country for investment and to further my studies. I have accepted to offer you a reasonable percentage of the total
sum for your desire to assist me.
Miss Julia Kouassi