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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Sat, 05 Mar 2016 16:03:12 +0000
Subject: Hello Dear Friend.
Hello Dear Friend.
I have a proposition for you, this however is not mandatory nor will I in a=
ny manner compel you to honor against your will.Let me start by introducing=
myself. I am Lisa Mona 25 year old single young girl with bright future.
I have a mutual beneficial business suggestion for you and a very Important=
matter that we both had to engage in. =
1. Can you handle this project? =
2. Can I give you this trust?
Absolute confidentiality is required from you.Besides, I will use my connec=
tion to get some documents to back up the fund so that the fund can not be =
question by any authority. More information await you in my next response t=
o your email message. Reply on my Private address..: email@example.com=
Treat as very urgent. =