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:
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand u.s 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)
- "i got your email address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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: "Mr. Yovan Gunardio Darmawan "<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2019 10:20:12 -0700
Subject: PERSONAL LETTER(URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED.)
I know that this email may come to you as a surprise. I got your email address from the online e-mail Database Directory through the Internet search and it's true we do not known each other but My spirit led me to write you this email.
My name is Mr Yovan Gunardio Darmawan a Syrian citizen and the only surviving son of the late Mr Syed Mohammad who was the former Finance Minister in Syria and was arrested and killed by the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad while he tried to defect.
I am writing this message to you with tears in my eyes. The on-going civil war in my country Syria has affected my life so much.
I am in asylum in Turkey for some time now. I would like you to help me receive the sum of US$10.4 Million(Ten Million, Four Hundred Thousand U.S Dollars) which my late father deposited in one of the bank here in Turkey for further investment in your country.
Please kindly reply only to my private email address here ::
I will be glad to receive a response from you with your data for more details. Kindly reply via my private email for confidentiality.
VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE REPLY ONLY TO THIS MY PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
Yovan Gunardio Darmawan .