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:
- "very confidential" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss Carolina Ballada" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:54:40 +0700
Subject: Urgent Reply Need From You Fast
Please accept my apology if my mode of contacting you will in any way
offend you.I am compelled to contact you via this medium for obvious
reasons which you will understand when we discuss details of my
My name is Miss Carolina Ballada,a personal account manager to Late
Engr. Hernandez, who died with his family in the missing Malaysian Air
crash of 2014.
I have something very confidential to discuss with you
in my next mail and will as well send you my pictures.
Please get back to me as you read this mail,as no much time left on my
Like as i said above,i will tell you more in my next mail.Please
Reply me immediately through my email address.
Miss Carolina Ballada