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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Joyce Luka <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2021 00:38:11 -0800
Subject: Please Contact Me Back
I apologize for intruding into your privacy; since we do not know each
other, but pay attention and understand my reason of contacting you
please don't be angry with me. I am happy to get in contact with you
after the direction to find a nice trusted and sincere reliable friend
I was motivated when I saw your email address when browsing Google. I
am here to seek your advice of which I know that it will help me to
overcome my situation, I am presently single girl. In your usual time,
may it please you to e-mail me back So that I will explain more about
myself. A good friendship is the foundation build on other relative
things to come. I wait patiently to hear from you. Please Write me on
my email address (email@example.com)
Thanks and remain blessed
Miss Joyce Luka