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:
- "i got your address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "email@example.com" (This email address looks like addresses used in fake loan scams. Be suspicious of any lender who uses a free webmail address or who is based in different country from yourself.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: From Admin To You <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2016 22:25:12 +0000
Subject: Cry For Help
My name is Courtney Van Wyk,This might be a surprise to you about where I
got your contact address; I got your address from the business bureau.I
need to discuss a proposition that will be of great benefit to you.
You can reach me or my mother on this number.Please do email us through the
below email address.
Tel+ 27 78 406 4881
We offer non-collateral loans ranging from R30,000.00 to the tune of
R200 Million between 1-20yrs at low interest rate of 7.5% with no
collateral blacklisted under administration you are
welcome.E-mail:email@example.com or call our
extension on 0621412017 extension 101 to speak to a staff from 9am to