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.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: hilllsss hilllsss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 11:42:46 +0200
Subject: booking for wedding trip
My Name is Martin Cobb, I am writing to get informations on
wedding/reception venues and also so in need of the services of a wedding
organiser. Christine and I are planning to have a wedding in Apr 2012 (any
date in Apr will be fine) and will require more informations on this as we
plan also to have the wedding in your region.
NUMBERS OF GUEST ARE 20 TO 25.
20 to 25 guests are expected to attend. Please advise on weather
conditions of the area. Also note that you (wedding planner) is to arrange
for a food, Videography, Music Entertainment, Photography, Officiant, cake
and flowers, decoration etc. Please do confirm this date and get back to me.
Im presently in Uk for a organization a program which will last for
another month or two and the only means of payment that will be possible
for me from here will be via my Credit card. I hope this will not pose any
problem to you.
please do contact me with this email; email@example.com
Get back to me as soon as you have the estimate so that we can start of all
preparation for my wedding.