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: "Mrs. Beryl Marriott" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 14:39:14 +0100
Subject: CHARITY DONATION
FROM: Mrs. Beryl Marriott
53 Kina Rd, R.D.31
Opunake 4681, New Zealand.
I'm not internet savvy, it is understandable that you might be a little bit apprehensive because you do not know me but I have a lucrative business proposal of mutual interest to share with you. I got your reference in my search for someone/company who suits my proposed business relationship.
I am Mrs. Beryl Marriott, a house wife. I have an obscured business suggestion for you. I will need you to assist me in executing a charity project in your country. It involves the transfer of a large sum of money that was willed to me by my late husband.
Your earliest response to this letter to (Berylmarriott@australiamail.com) will be appreciated.
Mrs. Beryl Marriot