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:
- "my names are " (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Marco Williams Esq" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 00:52:42 -0700
Subject: Muammar Gaddafi and family.
Muammar Gaddafi and family.
My Names are Marco Williams, international financial
consultant/attorney.One of my clients Muammar Gaddafi`S family (Former
Late Libya President) has mandated me to look for a genuine honest person
whom some of their funds will be entrusted to for safekeeping/investments
due to their current situation in Libya
right now. If you are the honest person, kindly write me through this
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org if interest so I can give you further
directives on how to get hold of the investment funds of the family. the
total amount is $48million Dollas and you will get 20% for helping.
Looking forward to hear from you
Mr.Marco Williams Esq.