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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Jenny Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Jenny Thompson <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:13:05 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: congress meeting.
We are inviting you to participate in the forthcoming international congress meeting on How to help the Youth stop the violence in world,and Global economic crisis eradication.The international congress meeting will commence from 26th to 30th September 2016, here in United States of America and from 3rd to 7th October 2016 in Africa. It is a great privilege for us to invite you to this meeting.
This meeting will contain various discussions issue of problems in Africa. Including Sexual violence against women's & HIV/AIDS Treatment.and the children being affected by war and how we can build a platform of knowledge at an international level to find solutions to Unemployment as it affects our society and globally. For more informationâs regarding the congress meeting, please contact the conference secretary via email that is indicated below.
Head of secretariat,
Note that The organization will have to process the Visa and flight tickets for all the invited participants who require entry Visa to the United States and Africa.Hotel accommodation cost will be your own responsibility.
Once again we thank you for taking out your time in your busy scheduled to attend this meeting with us.
National congress coordinator,
United States of America.