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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "David T. Edward" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2021 16:00:53 -0700
Subject: Hello My Friend,. Re; I Need Your Sincere Cooperation
Re: My Investment Plans
How are you doing today, I am Jonathan Haskell, I work with one of the
Financial Mortgage banks here in Dublin as a financial adviser,
well. I'm contacting you this way because I have a valuable crucial
business opportunity that would benefit both of us in the near future
that i really want to discuss with you.
The call-up capital is very significant. A risk free business be rest
assured, its an investment project, but After receiving your thoughts
and consideration, further information will be provided to you on the
investment project plan in your country.
Please confirm your interest via my private Email only: email@example.com
Thank you for the understanding
Mr Jonathan Haskell