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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "Siddiqui" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 07:02:57 +0100
Subject: From United Arab Emirate
I believe this mail will come to you as a surprise, but don't take it personal, my wish is to become partnership/business associate with someone in order to start up real estate or any profitable business in your country. but I don't have the resources to do that but I have information that can assist me for reaching my dreams but I can't do it myself neither friends in my country, I need a foreigner like you who will handle it perfectly.
I'm a banker here in united Arab emirate (UAE), if you're interested to do the business with me, then I will give you the details, but if this proposition offends your moral ethics, do accept my sincere Apology.
You can also reach me via email address, -( email@example.com)