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:
- "million dollars" (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 next of kin scam.
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Carlos Ramirez, CCL." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 18:51:37 +0100
My name is Juan Carlos Ramirez, i am a Attorney at *Ramirez & Asociados*, here in Madrid Spain. I need your assistance to claim my late client fund, he died in a motor accident with his entire family. before his death he deposited $3.7 million dollars (Three million seven hundred thousand dollars) with a security bank. I have been instructed to present a members of his family to claim the money before the end of this month July or the money will be return to government account as unserviceable fund. So far i could not locate any of his family members so i decided to write to you because you both share the same surname. I will give more details as soon as i hear from you.
If you accept my proposal, I reply me through my private e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be kind enough to come back to me, even if you are not interested, so I can further my search for another partner.
Await your quick response.
Juan Carlos Adrian Ramirez.