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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- mr. lami bello chairman payment advisory board. email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Lami Bello" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2015 09:17:30 -0800
Subject: Fund Allocation as approved to beneficiary.
Fund Allocation as approved to beneficiary,
Dear Sir /Madam,
After a just concluded meeting among the board, the office of the presidency Federal Republic of Nigeria under the leadership of our new president Alhaji Muhamudu Buhari has mandated that all foreign Allocation/Payment be release without any further delay.
As a beneficiary it is very important you provide the following details, 1, full names, 2, Your Full address
3, Your direct phone numbers. As soon as this information is received, be rest assured that full attention will be given to beneficiary towards immediate release of approved Allocation.
Mr. Lami Bello
Chairman Payment advisory Board.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com