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:
- "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: JOHN TONY <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2011 09:16:24 -0800 (PST)
I am Mr. John Tony, General manager to the Finance, security & Sec.Services . this note was taken in my office where i was serving verification documents to the White men Mr Peter Brown and Mr john Ojiso who stormed my office in company of Mr. Mark and Dan (on white African attire).
The black man claimed to be your representative and the supervisory
Engineer that supervised and Lasso security, company & Sec. Services(OUR COMPANY) because of their inability to have paid it at the agreed time.They said that you were dead and before your death, you appointed them as
the next of kin.
Please study the attached photograph and respond to me urgently for your
comments which will be highly appreciated.Contact me on this Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. John Tony,