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:
- "00,000.00" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447045760520 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Ibrahim Malik <SAST@SAST.local>
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2015 23:20:19 +0800
Subject: Ibrahim Malik
Contact Ibrahim Malik
My name is Malik Ibrahim, I am an accountant with a construction company here in my country, I have a
business proposal which I will like to discuss with you, we have an over inflated invoice valued $5,400,000.00 dollars
which we are looking for a reliable company outside our country whom we present to our company as the company
who supply the construction materials, the original contractors has completed their job and have been duly paid l
eaving the over inflated amount for me and two other colleague, now we are looking for some one we will
present to our company and have this payment transferred to your company account, we will prepare all supply
contract invoice in the name of your company, and all other documents you will need to present for our company
to approve this payment to your company, we will give you more information as soon as you indicate your interest
to work with us, we will also discuss our modality with which we will shear this money on a mutual understanding and
Your response will be highly appreciated