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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Amelia Lola" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 21:11:52 -0800
Subject: Friend Request!
I hope this letter finds you in the best of health and spirit. Forgive my intrusion as I know that this is an unconventional way of reaching out to you.
My name is Amelia Lola and I'm Sweden. My reason for writing you is to seek your friendship! Just being adventurous and decided to use this letter as a resource tool to get your attention. As a matter of fact, I've been wanting to try this a while now to chat. But I've been clueless on how to go about it.
Maybe you find it strange that I'm using something as cold as this means to reach you. But this is the best I can do for now.In short: the purpose of this letter is just to ask you if you want to be my friend. And if you agree, just say yes and we can take it on from there.
I look forward to hear hearing from you.