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:
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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: "Sgt. Irvin Kumman" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 23:37:41 -0700
Subject: Urgent. Reply ASAP
My name is Irvin Kumman, I am a Canadian soldier, serving with the 3'rd Armored Division, Allied forces in Iraq. My superior and i just succeeded in moving $1,875,000 belonging to Hala Hussein (Saddam Hussein's favorite daughter) who gave it to us for sparing her life and also turning a blind eye to her stash of Money in one of her guest houses during our reconnaissance operations in Iraq.
Since we are still in active service, we cannot be seen as collecting bribes neither can we keep the proceeds there from in our immediate or extended possession without attracting undue attention.To this extent, we have decided to randomly look for someone that has the fear of GOD and trust worthy to help us in safe keeping and/or investing the funds in your country on our behalf until further notice.
For the avoidance of doubts, Pls be advised that there is no risk involved whatsoever for your involvement and for your assistance, you will be entitled to 12% of the money which may be withdrawn at source.
Please indicate your interest asap by furnishing me with your contact details so that i can send you fuller details of this matter as time is of great essence right now. Finally, the need for absolute trust, secrecy and confidentiality cannot be over emphasized since i will be at your complete mercy in bringing this project to fruition.
Please contact me via my private e-mail: email@example.com
Sgt. Irvin Kumman