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 pounds" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 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: Rose Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Rose Williams <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2016 13:54:31 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: From Miss Rose Williams
>From Miss Rose Williams
Dear Good Friend,
My name is Miss Rose Williams,from UK. I am an Orphan and i inherited the sum of Â£3,000,000.00. (Three Million Pounds), from my late father. I want you to help me in providing a bank account, Where i will transfer this my total inherited funds for my investment purposes with you. I also want you to advice me on a good and profitable investment,which i can set-up in your country,after the successful transfer. Sincerely speaking,i am willing to offer you 15% of this my total funds,as a reward for your assistance in helping me out. I will also make you my oversea guidance and you will take care of all the companies or any business venture,which i will set-up in your country. Inshort, Pls email me right now at: firstname.lastname@example.org If you are willing to help me out in this assistance. I am eagerly waiting to hear back from you now,after reading this message. Thanks & take care. Your new friend,
Ms Rose Williams.