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.
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Peter Anderson." (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 16:16:32 +0200
Subject: requesting your attention
LONDON UNITED KINGDOM
My name is Peter Anderson a practicing lawyer in the United Kingdom.
I want to seek your candid collaboration in handling a business
venture that I feel would be mutually beneficial to you and I.
May I ask your permission to present you as a beneficiary to the will
of one of my trusted clients? My client and his whole family members
where involved in the Sharja air crash on the 25th of July 2004.
Since after this unfortunate incidence I have not been able to locate
any member of his family to be presented to his bank for claims of
his deposit as the law permits. It is now about time the government of
the United Kingdom convert the money to hers.
On receipt of your response in affirmation of your willingness to work
with me I will send to you full details and more information about
myself and the said funds for your better understanding.
As I am yet to get your consent on this issue, I prefer not to divulge
my full identity so as not to risk being publicized, which consequence
I will prefer we communicate for now via email. Subsequently telephone
and fax correspondence would be entertained. However if you would
want a brief chat, my personal email address is:firstname.lastname@example.org