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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Thomas Haggard" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 21:26:53 +0100
Subject: Certified Email
Please! Respond ASAP.
My Name is Captain Thomas Haggard, I'm an American Soldier Serving Under the Multinational Base Tarin Kot capacity and Peace keeping force deployed to Afghanistan from Iraq. Can you be trusted my friend?. I have some important items to ship to you for safe keeping as long as i am assured that this items will be safe in your care till i complete my service here. Please get back to me as per for more information through my private email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will be more detailed when i get a response from you.
Yours in service,
Cpt. Thomas Haggard
In God We Trust