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:
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Mail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:06:07 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: SINCERELY, GOD BLESS YOU AS YOU HELP
My name is Jeniffer,Â I am happy to know you, but God knows you better and he knows why he has directed me to you at this point in time so do not be afraid. I saw your contact email at ministries of commerce and foreign trade departments. I am writing this mail to you with heavy sorrow in my heart.
And am contacting you because I donât have any other option than to tell you as I was touched to open up to you, I amÂ with Libyan embassy in London for ten years before he died in the year 2005.we were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only five days. & i have 8.5 million dollars to transfer to you in charity name to help poor in your place, contact me here.(email@example.com)
Jeniffer Mauller Edward.