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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: "Captain Anthony" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 1 May 2011 15:01:48 -0400
Subject: I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE TO MOVE THIS MONEY
I am writing you after proper consideration that telephone conversation may not be Ideal medium to contact you.
I got your contact through my search on the internet for a reliable person.i am In National Guard Artillery unit here in Iraq, we discovered some funds when on Routine foot patrol in Khalis Iraq at companys compound.
We can't keep these funds so we want to move the funds to you to keep it for us In your safe account.
The money is legit. If you are interested get back to me for details.
You may wish to confirm with this link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm
Please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org
This business is risk free.