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: Sgt.David Thompson <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 22:31:42 +0100
Subject: Re:Please,Can I Confide In You?.
I know you don't know me but i mean no harm sending you this note,just that i don't have anyone out there that i can talk to as i lost my parents when i was 8 so i'm contacting you to help me as i saw your email from a personality profile directory. I am much in need of trust and help.I lived in New Jersey before joining the army.
We discovered several items and some boxes amongst which two contained some US Dollars which amounted to $8.5million and 2 bricks of gold worth about $1.6milliom.
I'm still on duty here in Afghanistan after we moved from Iraq and if such amount of money is traced to my account in the United States, I shall be investigated hence i need you to assist me get the funds out. We would share it 60/30 percent, 10% will go to charity and you would help me invest in hotels and real estate.
I will give you more info once I get your consent and you agree to help. All i need is your trust and we will get this done. Drop me your contact details and i will give you all information, including the package codes and contact of the delivery agency.
My sincere regards,