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:
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "SIR KA-SHING LI" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 04:54:29 -0700
Subject: *ON RECEIPT OF THIS EMAIL, YOU SHOULD COUNT YOURSELF AS THE LUCKY INDIVIDUAL*
My name is Li Ka-shing, a philanthropist and the founder of Cheung Kong Holdings and Li Ka Shing Foundation, I am the Chairman of the Board of Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL) and Cheung Kong Holdings, the world's largest operator of container terminals and the world's largest health and beauty retailer. We offer support to children through innovative education initiatives. Our core focus is to encourage enterprise through education, training and building the right skills today so our young people can become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. I believed strongly in '. giving while living' I had one idea that never changed in my mind - that you should use your wealth to help people and I have decided to give USD $ 1,200.000.00 (One Million Two Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) to randomly selected individuals worldwide. On receipt of this email, you should count yourself as the lucky individual. Your email address was chosen online while searching at random.
Kindly get back to me at your earliest convenience, so I know your email address is valid.
Click reply to e-mail me back on email@example.com
Visit: My Wikipedia
Regards, Sir Ka-shing Li,
GBM, KBE, Founder Cheung Kong Holdings