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:
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Colonel Fakhri AlSalabi" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2016 20:26:00 -0000
Subject: YOUR URGENT REPLY NEEDED (PATNERSHIP INVESTMENT)??
I am Colonel Fakhri AlSalabi, Head of Air Force Operations Libya; I come across your e-mail address from the investment list worldwide, I want to invest my money 11.5 Million USD in your Country i need partnership from you, I have in Security Company 12.5 Million USD for the investment project. I secure this money from my deal.
The business must remain TOP SECRET between both of us only for my security purpose as a TOP MILITARY PERSONAL, and I assure you 100% risky free in this business, all I need is your honest full support and effort, then I will be very glad to accept you as my business partner, we need to act fast there is no time to delay because of the current situation war crisis in my country Libya.
I offer you 30% of the total funds worth 12.5 Million USD, after all investment is completed by you.
Am looking forward to read from you soonest through my mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Colonel Fakhri AlSalabi