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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Dorothy Kristopher <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Miss Dorothy Kristopher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 21:34:07 -0600 (CST)
Subject: SYMPOSIUM INVITATION
It gives me a great pleasure to invite you to the forth coming international seminar which the Global Empowerment for Peace (GEP) is exited to be hosting in March 21st to 25th 2011 first Phase at Webster hall in New York City United States of America,
And then from March 28th to April 1st Second phase at Dakar City Hall Dakar Senegal.
The theme of the forth coming seminar is; Racial Discrimination and Human Trafficking.
Delegates who are interested to make a paper presentation are advice to make a summary presentation on the above subject.
With this regard, I hereby request you to kindly extend your cooperation by giving wide publicity to the aforesaid workshop by
sharing this invitation among your staff, members or relatives for their
active participation in the workshop.
Note: the (GEP) will be providing all delegates with to and fro Air ticket and also visaâs guidance for the seminar purpose. Looking forward for your cooperation and support for the success of the workshop.
Registration is open now! Contact the organizing secretary Mrs. Kimberly O. Lawson for more information.
See you in the Seminar.
Miss Dorothy Kristopher
Global Empowerment for Peace (GEP)