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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Monica Taylor" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2016 13:10:47 +0000
Subject: U.S Conference Invitation! Taking Place From March 20th-24th March 2017 USA
It is my pleasure to invite you to attend the 2017, Symposium meeting on Child & Women's Protection, Rapist and Abuse, Political Crisis & Corrupt Government, Domestic Violence, Economic growth and Global Safety. The 2017 Symposium Meeting will be taking place from March 20th - 24th March 2017 in Texas United States.
The sponsors of this event shall cover your round-trip air tickets from your country to the USA and back to your country and we shall also provide visa assistance with the U.S Embassy in your country of residence. The hotel accommodation booking cost will be your own responsibility. Please contact the conference registration for more information and registration is open and free for all interested delegate. Register now via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to hear from you soon.
Mrs. Monica Taylor