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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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: david kim <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 17:50:52 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Dear Friend
I sourced your email from a human resource profile database in the chamber; my name is Dr. David Kim, Account officer to late Mr.Hussein Al-Kharafi from Kuwait, in 2006, my client died leaving behind Cash Amount (US$25 Million) in my Bank here in Cambodia. Since he gave up the ghost, nobody has come forward for the claim.
I am particularly interested in securing this money from the Bank because they have issued a notice instructing me been the account officer to produce the beneficiary of this else the money will be credited to the Government treasury as per law here. It is my utmost desire to execute the Will of my late client Mr. Hussein Al-kharafi since he is no more alive, both wife Fatima Al-Kharafi, and daughter Nera Al-Kharafi
You are required to contact me immediately to enable me update you in details about the process of this very golden opportunity. I urge you to mail me immediately for further details bearing in mind that the Bank has given me a date limit, please act fast.
Get back through my private email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I await your urgent response.