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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Krause Stefan" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2018 06:07:09 +0100
Subject: Hello I greet!
Hello I greet!, I will like you to read and reply urgently, please if you can not assist me I plead with you to maintain maximum confidentiality of this information. Am Sgt. Krause Stefan, now in Mali for peace keeping mission. As we raid oil region of Northern Mali last weekend, rebels hurriedly vacate their military camp, as we comb the terrorist camp, I discovered large money in US Dollars and raw gold abandoned by the rebels. I intend to keep the money and gold as my personal compensation in this fight. I plan to transport the cash and gold to you using the Red Cross Relief Jet which shuttles Mali camp. You will take some for the help, there is no risk involved and nothing illegal, the box will come to you as a gift, is only me and you knows the content is cash and gold. Please help me, am still single wanted to settle down once I return home, so am taking the cash and gold as my compensation. Krause