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:
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss Miranda Anderson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2019 18:35:59 -0700
Subject: Dearest Friend,
Greetings, i wish you well and sound health. Itís my pleasure to humbly introduce myself to you, I am miss Miranda Anderson from United states of American, a 35 years old single lady never married. I am a highly classified air force division, currently working with the United States special Squad in joint operation with the Iraqi military for restoration of human right and freedom in Iraq. I contacted you here asking for further communication with you directly for something important
In the month of August 2015, I moved a total sum of ($6.5 million),Six million five hundred thousand dollars out of Iraq through a highly profile diplomatic courier. I need your help to claim the fund which I personally registered as personal property/diplomatic cargo. I am ready to offer you 20% out of the money after the transaction, and we must keep a very low profile during the transfer, the whole process is simple and reliable with no risk involved.
If you totally accept to be my helper and partner to receive the fund, I will then furnish you with the whole details. Please let me know your readiness to work on this regard so as to enable me to bring forward to you with further details on the subject.Kindly reply back via my personal email, ( email@example.com ) Thanks in Anticipation.