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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Free Water Consultancy" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:56:07 -0800
Subject: Your Grant
We have been commissioned by United Nation (UN) to reconcile their accounts with
those that were given non-repayable grants to establish businesses in their
localities so as to reduce unemployment.
We discovered that you haven't claimed your grant which was suppose to be
disbursed to you from one of their (UN) affiliate consultants. Let us know if
you are still interested in claiming the $400,000.
This amount is non repayable by you. It is to be used to generate employment for
people around you.
Reply us so that we re-process your documents and pay you immediately.
Waiting for your reply.