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: changkhun <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 21:58:58 -0600
Subject: Attention Beneficiary,
Based on our investigation of your payment, we want to find out if
you're still alive or did you sign any deed of assignment with (Mrs.
Grace Jackson.) to receive your fund,reply to us with:
Your Full Names..........
Your Home/Office Address............
Your Tel Phone And cell phone..........
The nearest Airport To Your Country A Copy Of Your Identity................
This is because $1 Million has been approved in your favor for payment
so get the above information to us fast and unfailingly today or your
fund will be released to Mrs. Grace Jackson.
Mr. Chang Khun.
get back to me on my email address: email@example.com
Chairman, Investigation and Debt Settlement Committee