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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (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: Larissa Ijere <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 20:47:40 +0000
Subject: My Dear,
How are you today? I know this mail will come to you as a surprise, because you don't know me and I don't know you well. Let me first of all introduce myself to you, My name is Miss Larissa Ijere Paul, 21 years old girl from Guinea Bissau. I am tall and fair in complexion, I am loving and caring. After finish my prayer, I got your email from yahoo trust search when I was searching for a foreign partner who will help me for business transaction.
Please reply me if only you are interested and ready to help me and provide an account that will be use in receiving the fund into your bank account. Please I need your help so that we can proceed.
Honestly Speaking I have a special something I want to discus with you about my life and this transaction; I know age will not be a beerier to our relationship. What I need is just your love and caring.
I will give you my best; I really want to have a good relationship with you. I will send my pictures to you and also tell you more about my self, Have a wonderful day with love and trust, bye for now; I am waiting to hear from you soon,