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:
- "million us 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)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Wang Lili" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 17:04:51 +0100
Subject: Investment letter from Ms. Wang Lili
Our client needs to urgently relocate his funds due to the economic crises and he is looking for an experienced business person or company that can receive and profitably invest the monies in excess of Thirty Nine Million US Dollars outside Asia.
Most importantly, you will be required to:
. Act as the original beneficiary of the funds.
. Receive the funds into a business/private bank account.
. Invest/Manage the funds profitably.
The Client is willing to pay 10% for your role as the beneficiary partner to the funds when the money is confirmed in your designated bank account.If you prefer to be re-contacted for more express information, please send us your:
 Full Names:
 Contact address:
 Cell phone and Direct Telephone No:
We expect your correspondence and our response will be swift. On your response via to my private email firstname.lastname@example.org , I will send you the details and more information.
Ms. Wang Lili