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:
- "huge amount of money" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Marcel Komlan Esq" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 11:03:45 -0700
Subject: We can together...
I must first make an apology for this unsolicited mail to you. I am Mr Marcel Komlan a lawyer, my client who died on the Egyptain Air flight 804 crash in October 6, 2016, along with his entire family he left behind Six Million Eight Hundred United States of American dollars in his bank account in my country Lome-Togo. I have been mandated by the bank to provide a next of kin to be paid the estate.
I have put everything in place for a successful transaction. I will present you as the heir to the fund and Ive all facts/details about the account which will help to facilitate the approval of the remittance of the funds to you accordingly. Would you be kind to help me transfer this huge amount of money to your account in your country, please should my proposal meet your interest do let me know so that I can further detail you on the way forward.
Marcel Komlan Es
C/O Reply to me using this; email@example.com