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:
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: From Mark Fisher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: From Mark Fisher <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 05:28:08 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: PLEASE CAN I TRUST YOU IN FUND ISSUE?
With due respect,
Am Â Mark Fisher with the Engineering unit here in Kandahar, Afghanistan for the United States.
I am in need of your assistance, we have about 11.5 million Euro that we want to move out of the country. My partner and I need a good partner, someone we can trust to actualize this venture. The money is Â from oil proceeds and legal.Â But we are moving it by diplomatic means to your doorstep directly or a safe and secured location of your choice using diplomatic courier services. But can we trust you?Â
Once the funds get to you, you take 30% out and keep 70% for us. Your part of this deal is to find a safe place where the funds can be sent to. Our part is sending it to you.Â If This proposal interests you do not hesitate to get back to me with your information: such as:Â Full Name:Mobile Number:Â Age: Â Occupation:Â Position:Â State of origin:Mailing Address:Â Next of Kin:
Make sure you direct all your reply via my Â security mail box: (firstname.lastname@example.org).So as to update you on the next step to take.Â Your Buddy.SGT.Â Mark Fisher,
God Bless America!!!