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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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: "Jason Stacey" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2013 08:55:57 -0400
Subject: COMPENSATION FOR YOUR PAST EFFORT (REPLY TODAY)
I contacted you some time ago in respect to the funds transfer of my deceased client. I want to sincerely thank you for your help initially although you backed out thinking that the funds transfer was illegal and a scam. Well, everything was legit and went well, the funds transfer was a success with the help of my new partner. As I initially promised you, I have instructed my partner (Mrs. Lucie Summers) to transfer your 10%. That is, the sum of four million two hundred thousand USD ($4,200,000.00) to you via telex transfer to your specified bank account or ATM debit master card.
Please email and contact my partner asap with Your full Name, Telephone/Mobile phone number and Contact address. Her name is Mrs. Lucie Summers.
EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
Mrs Lucie Summers will guide and give you all the help you need in claiming your fund from the paying bank. Everything is legitimate and legal so do not feel skeptical for this is not a scam or hoax. Hope to hear from you today. Thanks again!