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: "MERYL LOWE" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 14:26:17 -0800
Subject: Hi (Meril Lowe)
My name is 2ND LT. Meryl Lowe, a member of the U.S. ARMY USARPAC Medical Team, which was deployed to Iraq at the beginning of the war in Iraq.
I would like to share some highly personal classified information about my personal experience and role which I played in the pursuit of my career serving under the U.S 1st Armored which was at the fore-front of the war in Iraq.
Though, I would like to hold back certain information for security reasons for now until you have found the time to visit the BBC website stated below to enable you have an insight as to what I'm intending to share with you, believing that it would be of your desired interest one-way or the other.
http://www.voanews.com/burmese/archive/2003-04/a-2003-04-20-1-1.cfm (VOA NEWS)
Also, could you get back to me having visiting the above website to enable us discuss in a more clarifying manner to the best of your understanding? I must say that I'm very uncomfortable sending this message to you without knowing truly if you would misconstrue the importance and decides to go public. In this regards, I will not hold back to say that the essence of this message is strictly for mutual benefit between you and I and nothing more.
I will be vivid and coherent in my next message in this regards, meanwhile, could you send me an email confirming that you have visited the site and that you have understood my intentions? I will await your thoughts.