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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Melissa Able" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 04:01:32 +0200
I am Melissa Agnes Able, 25 yrs old girl in search of a man who understands love as trust and faith rather seeing it as a way of fun always but a matured man with sense of humour. Im interested in having a relationship with you and I want to know more about you, let see if we can share common interest together.
I think we should be friends and get acquainted, cause you seem pretty fun, and cute! (Its ever so hard to tell in this digital world :) anyway, I want to get a response from you...Then maybe we could chat sometime! You know what they say, appearance wins over the eyes, but personality wins over the heart...haha.
I believe we can start from here; if you dont mind you can email me back with brief introduction of your self and I shall tell you more details that you will like to know about me including pictures of me so you can see how beautiful I am. Enjoy your beautiful day, talk to you very soon.