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:
- "money-gram" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: " DR.Thomas H. Lee Partners" <"www."@salsa.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: " DR.Thomas H. Lee Partners" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2017 08:30:36 +0900 (JST)
Subject: GOOD DAY MY DEAREST
YOUR EMAIL IS WELL RECEIVED, IN OUR DEPARTMENT MONEY-GRAM ONLINE
TRANSFER BENIN REPUBLIC YOU ARE WELCOME ONCE AGAIN.
NOW YOUR COMPENSATION PAYMENT SUN OF $3,500.000.00 HAS BE TRANSFER
COMPLETED TO OUR MONEY-GRAM OFFICE YOU WILL BE RECEIVING $5.000.00PER
DAY UNTIL YOUR FUND'S WILL TRANSFER COMPLETED TO YOU. YOUR FIRST
PAYMENT OF $5.000.00 HAS BE SENT TO YOU BUT IS ON HOLD REGARD TO OUR
TRANSFER FEE WHICH IS SUM OF $289 HAS Thomas H. Lee Partners TOLD YOU
HER EMAIL HE SENT TO YOU BEFORE YOU CONTACT US.
SO THERE FOR HERE IS THE RECEIVER INFORMATION YOU WILL USE SEND THE
$289 THROUGH MONEY-GRAM OFFICE BELOW.
RECEIVER NAME... JOHN OBI
COUNTRY... BENIN REPUBLIC
TEXT QUESTION... HOW LONG
SENDER NAME AND COUNTRY ....
AM WAITING FOR YOUR UNDERSTAND RESPONDS TOGETHER WITH THE PAYMENT
DR.Thomas H. Lee Partners
get back to us with your address
Cell phone number:......................................