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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Adrian And Gillian Bayford" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2013 22:42:09 -0200
Subject: Reply Asap
Dear Sir / Ma'am,
This is a personal mail directed to you. My wife and I won £148.6m in
the Euro Millions Jackpot in August 2012 and have voluntarily decided
to donate £ 500,000,00 GBP to you as part of our own charity project
to improve the life of 10 lucky individuals all over the world. If you
have received this email then you are one of the lucky recipients, get
back to us with your details so that we can forward it to the payout
bank who will transfer your own part of the donation to you.
You can verify this by visiting the web pages below.
Contact Us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrian & Gillian Bayford