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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rediffmail, India; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Chaovisith" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2011 03:55:39 +0700
Subject: former Thailand Finance minister,
I got your basic contact through your country's Web Business Directory
which prompted me to contact you
directly through your email address to seek your help and assistance
My name is Mrs, Suchart Chaovisith wife of the former Thailand Finance minister, during the ( PM Thaksins ) regime who was forced out from power by the military.
In view of the recent death of my husband as you can read from the bangkokpost news website confirming his death to the public and Thailand Government. I am worry over the political crises, However my main point of contacting you is to seek your sincere suggestion and guideline to invest in your country.i do not need to tell you of the absolute confidentiality which we both must have to observe, if we are to go into investment, or rather if you are to help me in investing in your country.
>From the brief explanation of my present situation right now, you will understand my position with the government now and understand that l need absolute confidentiality in this transaction.
Thanks for your anticipated co-operation and my regards to your family.
And feel free to contact me on my email for now, until arrangements are made.
Please reply to my private email address: email@example.com