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: "MR. JAMES BARU" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 15:30:27 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: PLEASE REPLY URGENTLY.
PLEASE REPLY URGENTLY.
I am contacting you regarding a venture through which we both can come on a substantial amount of money. My name is MR. JAMES BARU, I am the personal banker to a customer of our bank who passed on heart-related condition, and I believe with your assistance we can receive the investments / deposits of my deceased customer. Therefore you should get back to me for more details with the information's below:
 Full Names
 Your phone/fax number
 Your residential address.
 Yours age
 Your occupation
This is a legitimate transaction and you will be paid 40% for your "Assistance". Should you be interested in my proposal, I prefer you reach me via email for further clarification and detail as well.
I am looking forward to your urgent response towards our partnership. Send me an urgent email for more information.
MR. JAMES BARU