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.
- 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: "Alberto Hall" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 00:26:31 -0600
Subject: Private arrangement.
I am aware that this is certainly not a conventional way of approach to establish a relationship of trust but you will realize the need for my action. My name is Alberto Hall, of A J & M Legal Firm London, United Kingdom. Actually, I got your contact information through the world public record while searching for a person of interest to work with me for the claim of the deposit of my late client, Engr. Fred Dickson, who was a private oil consultant/contractor with the Shell Petroleum Development Company, for Thirteen years, before he died along with his family on a boeing-737 crashes on landing near the central Russian city of Perm.
This mail is written to solicit your services in a confidential matter regarding money out of my late clients family beneficiary deposit, this requires a private arrangement. You will receive these funds under legal claims; all legal documents will be carefully worked out to ensure a risky free transfer. The funds in question are quite large, upon your confirmation, I shall give you other details for the successful claim of the fund. Therefore, let me know your decision so that we can work out the modalities.
Thank you. Reply to: email@example.com