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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Adrian Bayford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 09:16:43 +0100
Subject: Charity Donation.....
I am Adrian Bayford, I and my wife were Recent winners of the euro million
lottery of $148.6 million, and have voluntarily decided to donate the sum
of 700,000,00 GBP to you along with my new found half brother Paul Wilson
as part of our own charity project to Improve the lot of 20 unknown lucky
individuals all over the world plus 15 Close friends and family.
If you have received this email then you are one Of the lucky recipients
and all you have to do is get back with us so that
We can send your details to the courier service thats in charge of the
delivering of your won cheque.
Best of luck,
Mr and Mrs Bayford