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:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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: "Mr. Toure Kone" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2017 01:25:52 +0900
Subject: Re: "NOTICE!! | THIS INFORMATION MAY INTEREST YOU"
My name is Mr. Toure Kone an agent to formal president of C=F4te d'Ivoire=
Mr. Laurence Gbagbo who is currently in jail, I=2019m writing to inform y=
ou that Mr. Laurence kept ($60million) under my care and the fund was meant=
for a backup fight against the French and African Union troops during the =
Now he found himself in jail, after my last visit to Mr. Laurent Gbagbo we =
decided to use the fund for investment in your country to enable him to hav=
e some business running pending of his release. If these interest you and y=
ou are capable of working with me, you can come down to neighboring country=
(Ghana) for a meeting with me on how to move the fund out of Ghana, and I =
promise you that you are not going to waste your time or regret for this i=
s not a scam story. If you are interested, you can contact me immediately v=
ia my private Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send me your contact number for further discussion.
Mr. TOURE P. KONE. (JR.AGNT)
EMAIL .: email@example.com