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.
- 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: "Mark & Cindy Hill" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 19:35:19 -0600
Subject: COMPLETE VERIFICATION
Greetings.... I am Mr Mark Hill from Dearborn MO. 64439 USA. I won $294 million in the Powerball Millions Lottery as introduced on Friday, November 30, 2012 by Missouri Lottery Officials.
Please share in my joy and verify this by visiting: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/25/missouri-powerball-winner_n_2749795.html
Ensure you view the above link / website.
It is a thing of joy for my family; Hence the need to disburse fraction of our winnings; to Good spirited individuals, Churches, Orphanages and Charities.
Your email was drawn under the individual category. To confirm that your email is active and eligible to claim grant, send an email comprising the below;
Scan copy of identification:
For claims, forward above details via email to: email@example.com
Dearborn MO. 64439