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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Daniel Kadouri" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 23:03:10 +0100
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL/INVESTMENT
My Name is Mr. Daniel Kadouri,
I will like to invest in your country/company, but I don't know
if you will be able to assist me when I come over there, this is
my reason of contacting you to know if you will assist me.
I have $36M US dollars to invest in a profitable business in
a/your company/country. Right now this money is in an Embassy
diplomatic vault in Europe. If you can help me to invest this
money or handle it then let me know so that we can plan how
to workout the modalities. please Contact me on my private
Extend my greeting to your family why I wait to hear from
you soon for further information.
Mr. Daniel Kadouri