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:
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt.Pete Geren" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 06 Mar 2011 23:42:00 +0100
Subject: Can You Be Trust You?
I hope my e-mail find you well. I need your assistance. My name
Is Sgt.Pete Geren, I am an American soldier with the Bravo Co, 1st
Battalion in IRAQ for the United States, we have $25,000,000,00,
that is in our Possession and we are ready to move it out of the
The money, which is now in the custody of a Security Company, is
part of the Money we seized from late Saddam Hussein but were not
declared. Right now I am In the Baghdad trying to sort out things
with the Security Company to ensure A smooth and Unhindered transfer
of the money to you,therefore be assured that the Transfer is safe
and risk free.
My colleague and I need a good partner someone we can trust to
actualize this Venture, but we are moving it through diplomatic
means to your house directly Or a safe and secured location of your
choice using a shipping company, but Can we trust you? Once the
funds get to you, you take your 40% out and keep our own
60%, if you are interested I will furnish you with more details,
awaiting your Response.
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