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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Deng Ajak <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 21:34:55 +0000
Subject: I want to invest in your country!!!
I am Miss Walaa Deng Ajak from the republic of Sudan, writing this letter
from Dakar Senegal. I am happy to contact you directly to your mailbox for
investment project with sum of $17M USD.
I will like to use this opportunity to know if foreigner like me can come
and live in your country on investment purpose. It will be marvelous if we
can unite on this process while I will tell you more about myself in my
This is business proposal and I want your positive response, moreover there
is some fund to invest outside the country in oversea under the management
of foreign trustee therefore your positive response is urgently needed as
we move ahead on the investment.