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:
- "urgent business proposition" (a common phrase found 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Gerald spencer" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:13:16 -0700
Subject: JOIN VISION
CHARLES STANLEY & CO LTD,
25 LUKE STREET, LONDON EC2A 4AR,
Pardon me for directing this e-mail without any prior notice.
I am Mr Gerald Spencer, Director; Private Wealth Management, Charles Stanley, London, United Kingdom.
I wish to share an urgent business proposition with you.
I accept, we have never met before and one has to be careful before responding to matters of such concerns. All this will be addressed upon your reply, given the conditions I shall explain in my detail request for your collaboration.
Due to the urgency of this matter, your prompt reply will be most appreciated in giving you a breakdown on this
proposition. Please, contact me as a matter of urgency for a detailed briefing,
Thanks in advance.
With kind regards,