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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: david james <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 13:40:29 +0100
Subject: Good day Dearest Friend
Good day Dearest Friend
I am contacting you with a good faith and believing that you are going to
assist me in this transaction do not see this email as one of the scam
mails, for your assistance in this transaction, this $85million dollars
this fund belong to my late client , Muammar al-Gaddafi ,Former president
and after his death all of his family members was arrested I have shifted
the fund to escrow account so that nobody will have access to the fund
again I want to invest the fund in your country all I want from you is
your honesty and sincerity for you to tell me that you are not going to
expose the fund and both of us will sign agreement which I will give you
30% for your assistance in this transaction, please kindly get back to me
and let me know the line of business where we can invest this money in your
country send me your full name address and call phone number Reply me on
this Email: email@example.com
Mr. David James