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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "consignment " (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Capt Carr Kate Lee" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:47:29 -0800
Subject: IMPORTANT NOTICE
My name is Capt. Carr Kate Lee,Am American a member of the U.S. ARMY medical team, Just deployed to Iraq Becauseof the ISIS Problem. I just discover two trunk of consignment boxes containing America $100 i know you must have been reading mail like this on the intent but i want you to understand that at of 100 mail you must have read one can be truth. I have deposited two consignment boxes with a security company in Iraq. Am looking for a trust worthy individual who will assist me received the fund before i come over and join him as soon as the fund get into your hand. Please, I want this to be between me and you since I am still in the army.
To Prove my sincerity, you are not sending me any money. Because most of this scam is
about sending money. This is not a scam. If you feel this is a scam do not Reply. see the site below for more information,
I would like you to get back to me with the following
1. Full Name
5. Your Telephone
As soon as i received this information i will send you a
detail mail regarding this project.
Capt. Carr Kate Lee.