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:
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Michelle Obama" <michelle.@lion.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Michelle Obama" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 08:24:13 +0900 (JST)
Subject: GOOD NEWS
CONGRATULATION DEAR BENEFICIAL.
I am Mrs.Michelle Obama and I am written to inform you about your Bank Check Draft brought by United Embassy from the government of Benin Republic to the white house Washington DC and has been mandated to be deliver to your address on wednesday being June 24th 2016 as soon as you get back to me with your below information.
Your check is containing the sum of $25 million USD.
Here is my number. (202 697-7298) or [firstname.lastname@example.org] . you can call me or send me an sms, but i prefer sms
because I'm always busy in the white house and i cant be able to pick calls all the time.I will be waiting to hear from you immediately, thanks and God bless you.