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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Alice Brigham" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2011 21:17:59 -0300
Subject: Global Seminar Event Invitation!
Warm greetings from Foundation for Peace Building Scotland England! We are
organizing one week seminar event on "Health Security and Social Welfare"
from 21st to 25th November, 2011, venue Happy Cringean Hotel.
On behalf of the (FPB) it is my privilege to invite you and your
colleagues to the one week international seminar event on Health Security
and Social Welfare. The seminar will contain various talks and mini
workshops related to the issues of health security and global peace in our
society. It is our sincere hope that you will be able to attend this
seminar as our special guest.
The sponsors will cover the cost of your round-trip airfare on a direct
flight at the most economical fare available to the United States and back
to your country. We will provide your visa arrangement, and your ground
transportation from the airport to the conference venue. Hotel
accommodation costs will be your own responsibility. Please RSVP by
sending your completed details bellow and your passport scan copy at your
very earliest convenience to the seminar secretariat, if you have any
questions or concerns please contact the Seminar Secretariat by the below
1. Full Name:
2. Passport Number:
3. Date of Birth:
4. Place of Birth:
5. Country of Resident:
7. Personal Email Adders:
I am looking forward to your honorable presence.
Thanks and Regards
Mrs. Alice Brigham
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.