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: Michael <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 17:13:52 +0200
Subject: SEEKING YOUR CONSENT
I am Michael Matti from Malawi, nephew of General Henry Odillo, former Commander of the Malawi Defense force. I am in charge of operations relating to the safe keeping and investment of some funds on behalf of General Henry Odilo and some other Malawian ex-government officials. I need you to help me receive and invest US$32 Million U.S Dollars in your country.
Having gone through your profile in one of my recent visits to your country, I am in no doubt about your ability to help invest this amount in any profitable business venture that you come up with. If you believe you can handle this project as much as I think you can, please reply by sending me your private cell phone numbers for further discussions.