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: "ERIC ELLIOT" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 00.04.53 +0200
Subject: LIFE OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU AND ME,
This message is directed to you for the purpose of a transaction that is worth US$48,300,000.This transaction is completely legitimate and all legal documents
will be provided which will cover you and the funds during the course of this transaction.
I am Eric Elliot by name and i am presently in the Italy precisely .If you are interested in this transaction,i will advise you
send me an email with the following details:email@example.com
The reason for these details to be released to me is to be sure i am not corresponding with the wrong person.Note that you are been contacted because of your family name and as such,i must be very sure someoneelse is not playing a fast one on either of us.
If you would like to discuss further about this transaction that is in your family name as an inheritance that you will benefit from,
Note: Do not respond to this email address you received this message from because my server has a problem to send mails and so,i send you with my relative's email.Endeavour to respond only to the email address stated above.
Your response will be highly appreciated at this point because this money has been delayed for too long and i would like to finalize the transaction as soon as possible so that i can go ahead with my other client's issues i have at stake.