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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "any lucrative business in your country" (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; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Eliza Best"<email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 21:40:14 +0100
My name is Elizabeth, I am a little girl of 22 years old. I am the only one left in my family. I have seventeen million eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars fortune ($17,850,000.00).
I inherited this money from my late father. Please, I want you to partner with me to transfer the said amount to your country .
Your share would be 20% of the mentioned amount above. I will donate 10% to orphanage home in your country. You will help me to invest my 70% to any lucrative business in your country. I relocate to your country and continue my studies to become a Surgeons doctor. If you are willing to help me relocate the money to your country, then contact me
with this my private e-mail for instructions : firstname.lastname@example.org
Please, you should send me your direct contact details Eg;
1) Your full name.
2)Your Phone number.
3)Your home or office address
4) Your marital status and your occupation.
Yash Pharma Laboratories Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, India