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:
- "million british pounds" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Jennifer Amina" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2017 07:18:14 -0700
Subject: I NEED YOUR HELP.
Hello Am sorry to disturb you with my mail. My name is Jennifer Amina, there is serious war crisis in my country Syria, and I have lost my parents and my two brothers in war. I am now in Europe as a refugee.
I am write this mail to you bacause I want you to help me and receive (GBP.2.000.000) Two million British pounds sterling which my late father deposited with my name in a bank in Europe, and the bank sent me an E-mail yesterday that I should come and claim the money because I am the only surviving person in my family. I want you to receive the money on my behalf and keep it safe for me, because the money is in my name.
I accept to give you 40% of the money and take 60% to start new life and promise I will be honest to you and give you any information you request from me.
Contact me for more details of the transaction: