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:
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Vladimir" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:12:59 -0700
Subject: Hello; You receive my reply? 197.194,
I am looking to work with a reputable individual/firm to engage in a profit oriented ventures in your country and perhaps with your assistance, we could get low tax rates.
I have the directive of Mr. Mikhail Khodorkovsky to source for partner abroad who can accommodate and manage 150M & 350M USD respectively. The sums are derived from an executed project with Yukos Oil Company before the company was change merged into Rosneft Oil Corporation in Russia.
We shall apply for the necessary paper work required to re-profile your name as the recipient and also ensure payment is carried out by Rosneft into a bank account in your name. I guaranty we would execute this business under a legitimate arrangement without breach of the law.
Further details will follow upon your positive reply.