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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- interested get back to me on my private emails:( firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ), for details so that we (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: OFFICIAL NOTICE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2016 07:36:33 -0700
Subject: FOR OUR BENEFIT.
Youâre Assistant to secure the fund for our benefit.
Hello, I write to you after proper consideration that a telephone conversation may not be the ideal medium to contact you. My name is Sgt.Gadi Eizenkot, I am an Israel Soldier serving in the Military with the armyâs 3rd infantry division here in KABUL AFGHANISTAN with a very desperate need of your assistance, I have summoned courage to contact you regarding an issue which i want to let you in .
I found your email address and contact in email directory here, we discovered some funds valued at $48m when on routine foot patrol in Kabul Afghanistan at a company's compound packed in a trunk box. We canât keep these funds so we want to move the fund to you to keep it for us in your safe account. If you are interested get back to me on my private emails:( email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org ), for details so that we can proceed.
I wait to hear from you.