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: "Louise Morgan" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:37:07 -0000
Please I am writing this email to you as our last opportunity to leave
the country. My name is Louise Morgan I am a business woman here in
Gaza Strip. I need your urgent SOS assistance to enable my children
and I leave this country before we get bombed by the Israel. In view
of the danger ahead as Israel has refused to ceasefire, I am planing
to sell my business and move the money in cash to any Europe,America
or any other part of the world, where we can have peace. So before I
sell the business which is going worth much, please I like to
know if you will be able to assist me and my children? And if YES, I
need you to guarantee me of safety of the fund as it is likely I will
be sending the money via any available Cargo Flight if the buyer buys
the business because there is no bank here through which the fund can
be transferred via bank to bank.
I will give you other details in my next email.
Please your urgent response will be appreciated.