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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Professor Robert Abbey" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 21:01:32 +0100
Subject: ADVOCACY LETTER
Professor Robert Abbey
University of Westminster,
The Department of Professional Legal Studies
Rm 3.02, 4 Little Titchfield Street
I am writing you this mail with the purpose that we go into partnership. I am the solicitor to Sir J. Paul Getty Jr., a philanthropist who passed-on
with a large sum of money set as aside for charity but could not commence the project before his death.the said money is off the records of his
written will.The money is proposed to be used for charity,do contact me if you are willing to partner with me to set up this charity home with the said
funds.I shall give you details upon receiving your reply Please send me your answer to this email address only: email@example.com.
Professor Robert Abbey