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:
- "dear friend" (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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Williams Farnk.<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2014 15:19:47 -0500
Subject: Your $450,000 Compensation
Dear Friend, i am very happy to send this email to you, i want to let you k=
now that i Finlay transfer the total funds $10.5 million with help for my g=
ood Friend from . However i did not forget you because you try to help me b=
efore to transfer the funds but it did not work out for us , so keep out ch=
ecks of $450,000 dollars in your for your compensation. Now i want you to c=
ontact my Secretary Mr Mark Luis in South American Ecuador and as him to se=
nd the check to you urgent , i am very busy because of the investment proje=
ct i have at hands. So Contact my Secretary with this information bellow to=
enable him send your check to you because i give him instruction to send i=
t you once you have contacted him . Name =85Mr Mark Luis Email=85. ( marklu=
email@example.com ) Please try to update me once you have get in-touch my Mr =
Mark Luis to send your check to you. Thanks and have a nice day Regards Mr =