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: SANDRINE NZI <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 15:42:38 +0000 (GMT)
I am writing you this letter with due respect and harmful of tears since we have not met or know each other before well i am miss Sandrine Nzi; 22 Years old Girl from Cote d'Ivoire.daughter of Mr william Nzi,I have inherited the sum of $4.5million USD deposited by my late Father before He died in a suspence account in a bank here in my country. I seek your permision to remmit this amount into your account so that I could come to your country for investment and to further my studies. I have accepted to offer you a resonable percentage of the total sum for your desire to assist me. Please, kindly include your direct telephone numbers for easy communication.I will forward to you all the vital documents relating to the deposit as you indicate your intrest to assist me.I await to hearing from you.
Your Best Regards.
Miss Sandrine Nzi.