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)
- "former president of liberia" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Raymond Taylor" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2018 08:26:13 -0700
Subject: A mutual benefit business proposal
With all sincerity and humility it is with deep pains i write you
this message of wishful assistance to my predicament.
I am Raymond Taylor the only son of last wife to the former
president of Liberia who was asked by unanimous decision by the
international community to step down from the corridors of power.
I have ($600.000.000)United States Dollars belonging to my father in which i am a benefiaciary
in a security vault around your country.
I will like you to receive the money for me in cash and arrange a visa for me to get into your country.
If you are interested please contact me and I will give you the full details on how we are to proceed.