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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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)
- regulations. i look forward to your prompt response(firstname.lastname@example.org) your prompt attention to this matter would be greatly (Inorbit; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "CHOI Kyung-JIN" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2018 01:04:09 -0000
Subject: <<<<<<URGENT ATTENTION>>>>>>
Firstly, let me identify myself without any intention of equivocation.I am Choi Kyung-jin, the wife of Late Jee Ick-Joo who was kidnapped and murdered 2yrs ago by rogue policemen of The Philippine National Police (PNP).Read More via the links below.
I have a legitimate business offer for you regarding some secret funds deposited by my late Husband somewhere in USA for a safe-keeping, totaling the sum of USD$150,000.000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Million United States Dollars Only).
These funds belong to my Late Husband who wanted to invest a large amount of funds in America before he was killed.I'm looking for a qualified foreign partnership, these funds has no such illegalities like drug trafficking, money laundering or any financial crime attached to it. If you feel disposed towards the solicited role, please indicate by prompt response, so that I may provide you further details of the transaction, and also let you know what will be coming to you as remuneration for your solicited role.After that we shall then come to an understanding concerning the prospective areas of investment that will be conducive for investors of foreign descent. Bear in mind however, that this is a legitimate transaction, and the only reason why strict privacy is advised, is as the result of restrictions of the Nepal/Korea regulations. I look forward to your prompt response(email@example.com)
Your prompt attention to this matter would be greatly esteemed.Email:(firstname.lastname@example.org)