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: "Engr.Martins H.N.Akosombo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 12:07:15 -0800 (PST)
Subject: PRIVATE BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP.
Ministry of Energy.
Plot 2008 Castle Road.
I am Engineer Martins H.N.Akosombo,a Director of the Contracts Award and review Department with the Ghana Ministry of energy (M.O.E).I am contacting you for an urgent and important business dealing which will be beneficial to both of us.I can assure you this business is without any risk attached.
I don't know if I can confide in you,though we may be in two different countries apart,but that is what I actually need in a partner,someone from a distant place or country,please do revert back to me if you think we can work together for the good of both of us in good faith,as that will enable me to let you into the project proper.
Please do send to me your telephone number in your next email,to enable us talk in confidence about this proposal.Please for immediate attention and confidentiality purposes,I advise you send your reply to my private email: email@example.com