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:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Richard Atwater" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 22:55:20 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: ASSIST ME OUT OF IRAQ
My name is Sgt Richard Atwater,I am an American soldier serving in the
with the army's 3rd infantry division in Iraq,i and my colleague
discovered a box full of money
in one of Saddam Hussein bunkers.This money have been counted($8.7MILLION
U.S. DOLLARS )and moved to a safe
location,i need your assistance to move this money out of Iraq to your
country,i and my partners do not intend to continue fighting here in Iraq
so we want to resign and go into business,email me if interested via my