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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Desmond Ken <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 12:50:29 -0700
Subject: GOLD FOR SALE
How are you doing I hope all is well
I am sorry for using this medium to contact you, my name is Desmond Ken, and
I want to inquire from you if Gold business is movable business in your
country. Sir, My Step Father he is old so he told me to take only 150 kilos
Gold from the 250 kilos that belongs for our family so that I will sale the
gold to further my education and take care of my life, sir I want you to
advice me on how to send the 150 kilos of the gold to you by DHL or FEDEX.
Sir right now the 150 kilos is with me , your urgent reply is highly needed,
I want to use the money of the gold to pay my school fess, my father said
that he will not pay my school fee again because he is not my biological
father, my father died when I was 2yrs old. Please, advise me what to do
Thanks and God bless you