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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "await your urgent response" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Andrew Ryann" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 7 Oct 2017 05:59:06 -0700
Subject: Dear friend
My Private Email firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Mr.Andrew Ryann, Our client died Three years ago leaving behind capital amount (USD20,000 000 Million) in our security company where I work.(East African Security Company Kenya Nairobi)
I am the manager, till date and nobody has come forward or put application for the claim of the depository.
During my private search for the relative recently your name and email contact was among the findings that matches the same surname as the deceased name which is (withheld for security reason) who died interstate with no Will or next of kin to inherit his estate.
To maintain the level of security required I have intentionally left out the final details. I want you to come forward since I can provide you with the details needed for you to claim of the deposit so that I can be gratify by you, in this way 45% for you and 45% for me and my chief security officer that will do all the crucial part in the deal to have the deposit release to you promptly and 10% will map out for any expenses that might occur during the process.
To affirm your willingness and cooperation please contact me on my email with the following (such as) your full name/your full address/ your private phone numbers and your international passport or your drivers license for further information's.
I await your urgent response!
(My Private Email email@example.com