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.
Fraud email example:
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2020 02:21:02 -0700
This note might come as a surprise to you. You might consider it an
invasion of privacy and I hope you forgive me , With this letter, I would
like to seek for your attention. I know this is an unconventional way of
reaching out to someone I've never meet or heard of. I also hope you don't
find this letter provocative or intruding. I write to seek your attention
as friends.My name is Lisa Walker. I'm of Swede Origin. I hope you do not
view my contacting you strange because I'm using something as cold as
this means to reach you. But this is the best I can do for now. The
purpose of this letter is to seek your friendship. And if it seats well
with you, You can write me back and we can communicate further and learn
about each other.I look forward to hear hearing from you.