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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: Info <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 12:14:01 -0800
Subject: Good Morning..
Miss. Carolyne Guy.
My name is Carolyne Guy. I am the only daughter/ child of late Mr.
Johnson Guy from New Zealand who worked with embassy here in BANGKOK
THAILAND for nine years before he died in the year 2016 after a brief
illness. When my father was alive he deposited the sum of $3.8Million
(Three Million Eight hundred thousand U.S.A DOLLARS) with BANGKOK
Presently, this money is still with the BANGKOK bank. But because of
my under age am unable to claim the fund from the bank.So I want an
organization or an individual that can help me receive my father money
from BANGKOK bank here THAILAND.
Right now am living under the care of THAILAND government because of
the service my father raided here when he was alive. I don't want them
to know about this development until my fathers fund is move to you.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall inform the bank here in
THAILAND. that you are the beneficiary of the said fund you will need
to contact them for the releasing of the fund to you . I will also
instruct my fathers lawyer to issue you an authority letter that will
prove you are the present beneficiary of this fund.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. If
you are interested I will like you to contact my Fathers Lawyer
Barrister KWANG LEE via his email address as he is the one to guide
for the claim of he fund ( email@example.com ) Hoping to receive your
Miss. Carolyne Guy.