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:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Merrikh Pour" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 06:40:43 +0600 (BDT)
Subject: Thanks Merrikh Pour
You treated me some years back during a surgery at your hospital.
I have less than a week to live because I am suffering from cancer and the
doctor has just confirmed that I will die soon. Please I need your
prayers. I have today willed my properties to your family and I want you
to also help the poor. Find below the contact of my lawyer you are to
contact him because I am at the moment in Asia for treatment.
Mr. Ulrich Guenttes Esq
zentrale e-mail (email@example.com)
Thanks Merrikh Pour