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 next of kin scam.
- 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, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Gordon Chang<email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:38:35 +0100
Subject: Information For You(Reply Back)
My name is Gordon Chang and I work in a reputable bank. I have a transaction that I believe will be of mutual benefits to both of us. It involves an investment portfolio in our organization which I like to acquire with your help and assistance. This will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law and you will be compensated adequately according to agreed commissions.
All I require from you is your trust and honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. You will have to show commitments to the cause as time will be of great importance in what we have to do. If you are interested and prepared to work with me according to these dictates, please reply to this mail immediately so that we can discuss, make assessments and after your basic understanding of the whole business, commence the process by which we will actualize the project. I wish you a pleasant day as I hope to read from you on my private email
< firstname.lastname@example.org >
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