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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Wee Ponnusamy" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2021 02:34:54 -0800
Subject: Business Understanding.
My name is Mr. Wee Ponnusamy, a lawyer based in Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia. I have previously sent you an email regarding a transaction of US$13.5 Million left behind by my late client before his tragic death but no response from you. However, I am contacting you once again with strong believe that you will work /partner with me to execute this business transaction in good faith.
Please if you are interested in proceeding with me, kindly respond to me via my private email email@example.com for more detailed information.
As a matter of fact, this transaction is 100% risk free and I look forward to your acknowledgement.
Mr. Wee Ponnusamy