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.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr James Worker" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2019 09:27:35 -0500
Subject: FOR INVESTMENT PURPOSE ,
My name is Mr James Worker an Investment Attorney with a reputable legal &
investment management firm. My Firm mostly represents the interests of
Due to the sensitivity of the position they hold in their society and the
unstable investment environment of their country, some of our Clients
evacuate majority of their funds into more stable economies and developed
nations where they can get good yield for their money.
A Reserved Client, whom I had personally worked with a few years ago with a
proposal, recently approached me. What he request is an individual such as
you, who will be willing to receive money on his behalf, and put it to good
use for a period not exceeding 6 years for a start.
The Client has offered some terms which will be discussed when you show
interest, and reply to this email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr James Worker.