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.
- 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: "Mrs. Caroline Kwanjai" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2018 23:39:03 -0700
Subject: Your confirmation is needed please
My name is Mrs. Caroline Kwanjai the secretary of Thailand department of Treasury. Please there is counter claim on your entitled funds presently by one Mr. Peter Schwartz from Detroit Michigan, USA. He is trying to make us believe that you are dead and even explained that you had an agreement with him to help you in receiving your payment of $2.5 Million USD.
Kindly confirm to us for your urgent release of the entitled Funds immediately.
Do you have a next of kin in the USA with the name Mr. Peter Schwartz? Your urgent response is needed so this office will not be held responsible for making payment to the wrong person. We understood from your file that you have been in this transaction for a long time but unfortunately you have not been able to receive your Funds.
Now we are ready to wire the Funds of US$2.5Million to you but we are face with the challenge of this counter claim from someone else claiming to be your next of kin.
We await your response for clarification of this matter today.
Mrs. Caroline Kwanjai