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:
- "my names are " (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. MECHELLE JIANG" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2013 11:58:16 +0700
Subject: RE hello
My names are Mrs. Michelle K. Jiang C.E.O (Khmer Kitchen Seafood LTD in Cambodia), i am a dying woman of 72years old was diagnosed of cancer 1year 6months ago. i have been touched decide to Will donate USD$15,128.000.00 to you, to start-up organization for helping the less privileged, homeless, and poor people in your community. If you are interested carryout the tasks sincerely kindly contact my Lawyer Mr. Bora Borivath his private-cellphone number: +855974661793 and Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Call him and state my Reference Number: KKS/GEN/VOL.7028 VERY IMPORTANT!!! so that he can make proper arrangement for the $15,128.000.00 USD in my bank account to be release and transferred to you.
Hoping to hear from you and my lawyer;
Thanks and be blessed.
Mrs. Michelle Jiang