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: "Mrs. Michelle Obama" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Michelle Obama" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Nov 2015 18:41:17 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Good Day.
I am Mrs.Michelle Obama and i am here to inform you that your SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATION FUNDS from white house here in Washington DC is the sum of $10,600.000. and the funds will be delivered to you as soon as you get back to me with your home address and your cell phone numbers.
bear in mind that i am the only one that has your funds in regard to my husband Mr Barack Obama and you will have to pay the sum of $105.00 before your funds will be delivered to you today so get back to me with your home address.
Regard To Mrs. Michelle Obama