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:
- "email@example.com" (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: "Mrs. Cynthia Usman" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2011 22:22:29 -0800
Subject: SCAM VICTIMS REIMBURSEMENTS
SCAM VICTIMS REIMBURSEMENTS PROGRAMME.
I write to bring to your notice as a delegate from the Nigerian
Government Reimbursement Committe under the strict supervision of the United
Nations to pay 230 Nigerian 419 scam victims the sum of $150,000 USD (One
Hundred and Fifty Thounsand Dollars) each. You are however listed as one of
the beneficiaries for these payments.You are expected to get back to us for
your immediate reimbursement.
We shall feed you with further modalities as soon as we get your response so
send a copy of your response to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Cynthia Usman
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER