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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Henritta Junes" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Henritta Junes" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 12:49:55 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Please get back to me
From: Mrs. Henrietta Junes
Greetings and how are you doing? May I apologize if this message will come to you as a surprise and would love to hear from you immediately to enable me write back with details. I am Mrs. Henrietta Junes from Libya. Meanwhile,Â my intention is to gain your support and if youâre in position to help me invest in your country and establishment of my stay in your country, for the fact I want to relocate from Libya? I will appreciate your immediate confirmation.
Thank you and remain blessed
Mrs. Henrietta Junes