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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Susan Benson <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 02:10:26 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: HOTEL INDUSTRIES AND ESTATE
It's my pleasure to acquaint you with this proposal for a financial and business assistance. I know my message will come to you as a surprise. Don't worry I was totally convinced to write you in reference to the transfer of USD$11.5M to you for onward investment (Hotel industries and estate building management) in your country. Please if you are interested, Email me so that I can give you more information. Reply me urgently with this email: (firstname.lastname@example.org )Remain bless while expecting your prompt co-operation.Regard's,Susan Benson