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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Suchart Chaovisit Suwannee" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2011 17:03:30 +0700
Subject: I HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON.
Compliment of the season.
I am Mrs. Suchart Chaovisit Suwannee, wife of the Former Thailand deputy prime minister and finance Minister Suchart Chaovisith who died of cancer.
In view of the death of my husband as you can read from the Bangkok post news website confirming his death to the public, and Thailand Government.
I am very worried over the political crisis and i cannot endure the ongoing catastrophe here after the death of my husband.
I have decided to contact you, to help me to move some funds to your country over there.
As my family hope to relocate to your country and go into investment with you in your country.
Please contact me on my private email addresses: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
My Regards to you and your family as I await to hear from you.
Mrs. Suchart Chaovisit Suwannee