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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "i want to solicit your attention" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Aisha Gaddafi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 19:19:33 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: I wait your urgent response
From: Miss. Aisha Gaddafiâs
My name is Aisha Gaddafiâs I am the daughter of late Moammar Gaddafiâs formal Libya President .
It is my pleasure to contact you for a business which am intend to establish in your country.
Though I have not met with you before but I believe one has to risk confiding in succeed sometimes in life.
I can confide on you for the brighter future of my life since you are a human being like me. But what I need from you is Truth, Trust and Honest.
I want to solicit your attention to receive money on my behalf.
The purpose of my contacting you is because my status would not permit me to do this alone.
Please reply through my alternate Email: email@example.com
so that I will send you the full details and more information about myself and the funds.
I wait your urgent response
Miss. Aisha Gaddafiâs