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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "Miss Myrian M. Suleiman" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2016 15:39:07 -0400
Subject: Re: Important Information For $8.5M USD
My name is Miss Myrian Suleiman from Syria, I am 21 years old and the only surviving child of Late General Muhammad Suleiman, who worked as a former General and Special Presidential Advisor Who was Assassinated .
I am writing from Syria and I have a proposal for 900 KG of of Gold which I will like you to help me claim, sell and Invest the money in Your country. Presently due to the war here, i can not travel out to go and claim the Gold and Invest it where it is deposited in offshore country. I will like you to kindly write me at my private email (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that I can tell you in details what you are expected to do for me and also for me to send you documents proof . I am ready to give you 50% of the Gold for your help. This will not waste your time, Thank you for writing me back and God bless you.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Miss Myrian M. Suleiman
Write Me Back Here Please ( email@example.com )