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: Edmond Willa <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Edmond Willa <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 09:47:15 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Re: YOUR FUND RELEASE STATUS...........TREAT AS URGENT......VERY IMPORTANT.
WE HAVE FINALLY CONCLUDED AND AGREED TO EFFECT YOUR FUND WORTH OF (US$4.5M) VIA ATM CARD AS BEST AND EASIER WAY TO RECEIVE YOUR FUNDS IN ANY NEAREST ATM MACHINE IN YOUR CITY, BASED ON AGREEMENT WITH ATM DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR. YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR ATM CARD HOWEVER, THE BELOW INFORMATION IS NEEDED AS TO ENABLE THE PROFILING OF YOUR CARD AND IT DELIVERY TO YOU:
DIRECT PHONE NUMBER_______
ONCE WE RECEIVE THIS INFORMATION, WE WILL PROCEED WITHOUT DELAY.