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:
- "can i trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "Major Elizabeth Dicampli" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2017 18:20:38 -0500
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU?
MaJor Elizabeth DiCampli
Nurse Corps Officer at United States Army
Assignment Under United Nation Syria Chapter
San Diego State University-California State University
My name is Major Elizabeth DiCampli. Am on Assignment with United Nation Syria Chapter. I live in Hawaii USA. Despite we have not meet face to face i still have a confident trust on you and i believe in your assistant. Am on a special assignment with United Nation here in Syria . I need your help and it will benefit both of us.
My Squad here in Syria rescued the son of the Syrian Prime Minister from the hand of the Taliban's here in Syria . The Prime minister gave us a cash reward my own share of the money is $950,000 Dollars. And i want to trust you so that i can send the money out from here because is not safe staying with me here.
The bank where we camp is not working because of the crisis here if you are watching CNN you will understand what i mean. Can i trust you? If you capable to help me receive this money I will give you 30% of the total amount.I want to be sure if you are capable no matter what it takes. I have make all the necessary arrangement on the means of moving it out safely. Can i trust you? Please get back to me on the email immediately for security reasons.
Major Elizabeth Dicampli