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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Eira Carlsson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 04:52:13 -0800
I write with earnest prayer that this email will find you well. I know that you will be surprise at receipt of this email from me to you. I don't know how you will react after reading this email to you, but I do hope that it makes sense to you and it met favorably to your attention.I am Eira Carlsson. I am 32 years of age from Sweden. My aim of writing you is for us to be friends a distance friend and from there we can take this to next level, I write this with the purest of intentions and I do hope that it meets with your attention, what I seek here is a God fearing friend that will understand me and I will understand you and together be perfect friends.Please write back if you can.