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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "trunk box" (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)
- "trunk boxes" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Kate Carr Lee" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 04 Jun 2016 05:22:49 -0700
I know you will be surprise to read my email Please dont be skeptical to reply me. My name is Cpt. Kate Carr Lee. I am a member of the US ARMY medical team deployed to Iraq because of the current ISIS problems. I discovered trunk boxes containing American dollar bills. I have deposited two of these boxes with a security company here in Iraq. Am looking for a trust worthy individual who will assist me to receive the funds in his country before l will come over and join the person. Please, I want this to be between you and me since I am still in the service. To prove my sincerity, you are not sending me any money because most of these scams are all about sending money.
For reference click the link below
Please send me the following below.
1. Full Name...
5. Your Telephone Number.
As soon as i received these information i will get back to you.
Cpt. Kate Carr Lee