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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms Xiuyun Chen." <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Ms Xiuyun Chen." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 10:59:19 +0000 (WET)
Subject: Business Proposal.
I am Ms Xiuyun Chen I work with the Bank of China. Also Member of the Audit Committee and Member of Strategic Development Committee bank of china.I got your email account while searching for a business oriented personality in my private study in the internet. I am in need of your assistance just for one reason in a Business Deal were i want you to act as a beneficiary and next-of-kin to a large amount of money please i will like you to get back to me via my private email address email@example.com for briefing.
Hope To Hear Back From You.
Ms Xiuyun Chen.