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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: cynthia beko <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 19:30:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: MY ,
how are you over there in your country? i hope all is well with you, i hope you may not know me, and i don`t know who you are, My Name is Miss Cynthia Beko,i am just browsing now and i just saw your profile it seams like some thing interested to me,i started having some feelings in me to contact you please i will like you to contact me with my id i have something to share with you in person OK,i mean to tell you before we go on,l will also like to know you the more,and l want you to send an email to my email address here waiting for your mail to my email address above.Miss Cynthia