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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Liu Yan <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 12:30:27 -0500
Subject: Private mail.
I bring you greetings.I am Liu Yan;I work with Bank of China, Hong Kong.I have a Business Proposal of $19.5M for you to handle with me from my bank.I need you to assist me in executing this Business Project from Hong Kong to your country.I need to know if you will be able to handle this with me before I explain to you in details.Should you be interested please send me the required information below;
(2).Current Residential Address,telephone number,fax number and email address.
I will want you to reach me on my private e-mail; (firstname.lastname@example.org).Finally after that I shall provide you with more information.