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)
- "trunk box" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "trunk boxes" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "million united state dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "Kono Peter" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 11:08:08 -0700
Subject: Can I Trust You In This Project ?
This proposal is closely directed to you for your attention and should not in this letter as a spam mail that was
sent to you by strangers.The sum of $98.2Million United State Dollars was sealed in a five-Trunk boxes and
labeled family valuables and treasures and deposited awarded an Independent Security Company here in the
Republic of Benin in West Africa, the Republic of Benin since 1999.This fund for the UN peacekeeping mission
in Sierra Leone was meant but was diverted by my colleagues for personal benefit. Unfortunately, my colleagues
lost their lives during the UN peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone, when the rebels attacked their Territory unexpectedly.
Today I have the secret documents that allow me to make a reliable and reputable person who can stand as
a "beneficiary" to the alleged agents of the present Security Company is discovered.If you are interested, we
can do a deal to split the funds associated 50-50 without legal effect. Please send me your phone numbers for
the discussion of this offer in further detail.
You can contact me through my private e-mail address ( email@example.com ) Contact