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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: GILBERT MACENTEE <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 4 May 2010 08:07:26 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: GOOD DAY TO YOU
My name is Gilbert Macentee, I need your services in a confidential matter regarding money transfer. This requires a private arrangement, though the details of the transaction will be furnish to you if you indicate your interest in this proposal, However, would you be able to help me calim and invest $16M on landed properties or any profitable business in your country?, if interested, kindly contact my private and confidential email address with your full name, contact address with your personal telephone number for further details. I will give you more details immediately I hear from you.
Best Regards.Gilbert Macentee.