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:
- "million us dollars" (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)
- "million dollars" (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 orphan scam.
- 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: Miss SAMEERA HANIF <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2013 11:35:25 +0000
My name is Sameera Hanif,I am a 24 years old refugee from Sudan. I have
a very important business transaction of 5 Million US Dollars for you.
Please note that this is not spam, this is 100% legal and risk free. I
am genuinely seeking your help and assistance to claim my late fathers
fund of 5 million US Dollars which my late father deposited with a
bank before he died. For your assistance in this transaction, I have
decided to offer you 50% (2.5 Million Dollars) of the total amount at
the end of this transaction, and 50% for me as well.
Please reply to my private email address (email@example.com)
so that I will tell you more about myself and also give you more
details about the business transaction. Please reply soon. Yours
Miss SAMEERA HANIF