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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Belle <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Miss Belle <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 09:08:30 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Hello dear
Complement of the day to you,
Please pardon me if i interfere into your privacy, my name is Miss Belle
Habimana, Age 23, height 5 ft 11 inches, weight 62 i am the only daughter of
Late Mr. Gahiji Habimana from Rwanda East Africa,
my father was the Executive Chairman of Luxiang gold and tungsten Mining
company in Kigali capital of Rwanda, I observed you are an important personality before i made up
my mind to contact you.
I will like to know more about you because i wish to share truelove with you
and more importantly, i have with me some funds which i will like to invest in
a good business. I wish you could be honest to me so that i can go into this
investment with you by my side and i will also need your good advices.
of all, I will like to know what you do for a living; remember you caught my
attention that was why i contacted you in the first place. You will know more
about me as we communicate along. I shall send my pictures to you in my next
e-mail; I will like you to send me your pictures for my perusal.
for your understanding, hoping to hear from you soon.
From my heart,