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:
- "trunk box" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "trunk boxes" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Stella Armando" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2011 05:32:38 -0400
Subject: Re: URGENT REQUEST
My Name is Mrs Stella Victorie Armando from Argentina the wife of Late Mr carlos Armando, One of The financial advisers to President Muammar Gaddafi, President of the oil riched country called Libya and the Richest President in the world ,Please I am writing from Libya. Please in the news you can hear or see what is going on about the uprising in the country Libya about the citizens to remove the President, President Muammar Gaddafi.
Please you can check in the news about the uprising in Libya.
My Husband was one of the financial advisers to the president and due to the problem in Libya, he was killed early this year, I have been in hiding here in Libya due to the problems and killings which have made me to contact you to help me secure large sums of money which runs into Millions Of United States Dollars which the President Muammar Gaddafi deposited in my late husbands name in a security company. The money is in a trunk boxes. Everybody thinks I died with my husband in the explosion that killed my husband and my children but I escaped by grace of God and the money is forgotten.
Please I am contacting you for you to assist me claim the money and have it shipped to your country for a better investment and am ready to give you 40% of the total money if you are ready to help me.
Mrs Stella Armando
Note: Please REPLY ME At email@example.com