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:
- "can i trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sandy Gumeh firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 08:05:05 -0200
Subject: YOU HAVE ONE NEW MASSAGE
Dear respected one,
Please allow me to introduce myself to you, i am miss Sandy Gumeh 18
years old girl from Liberia, West africa.
I would want to confide in you as my legal guardian to receive my late
father's funds of US$3.5 million which is my inheritance into your
foreign account and help me for good investment and to continue with my
education in your country.
I will also want you to accept and treat me as a member of your family
because i lost all my loved family in the war of my country.
You can read from the link below about what charles taylor and his son
did to my country.
Please can i trust you?