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:
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Jasmine Moore." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 16:19:46 -0700
Subject: Business opportunity.
I am Mrs Jasmine Moore, A Private Investment Manager , I am getting in touch with you regarding the estate of Late Ryan Hanson an investment placed under my management over 10 years ago. I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential the business in into millions of United States Dollars.
I have exclusive access to his file, you will be made the beneficiary of these funds. On verification, which will be the details I make available to the Bank, it would be legally confirmed as I am working with my local solicitor on this deal to make sure all legal aspects are covered. You do not have to have known him. I know this sounds a bit heavy and complex but believe and trust me as it is achievable. For your assistance, I propose we split the funds in half and share it equally. This practice is not unusual in the banking sector here in my Country.
I will be waiting for your urgent response with your telephone number to discuss this , Kindly Get back to me via my Private and Personal Email Address which is ( email@example.com )
Mrs Jasmine Moore.