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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Aisha Ghadaffi" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 02:29:15 +0200
Subject: From Aisha Ghadaffi; PLS RESPOND ASAP!
I am Mrs Aisha Ghadaffi, the second wife of Late Safia Farkash Ghadaffi, son of the late Libyan leader, Murmmar Ghadaffi. Why I have written you from a different email address is just for security reasons and due to my current location and status quo. I am contacting you to assist me in receiving the sum of U.S$4.3 Million in your account from a reknown bank. This money belongs to my late husband and I am the next of kin. However, due to security reasons, the bank director has suggested that I look for a foreign account where the fund will be transfered into, as I can't be granted direct access to the fund.
This is a very risk-free transaction in which you will benefit from. As soon as I ge your positive response, I will furnish you with all the details of the bank and also their official website for direct confirmation. Pls write me only on this email: firstname.lastname@example.org