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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "trunk box" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 05:07:28 -0430
Subject: YOUR ASSISTANCE NEEDED
i am impressed by your efforts and struggle to assist
humanity,particularly the refugees and their children,therefore,i am using
you to achieve what i could not do in my life time giving you a helping
hand with a free will donation.
I am Mrs Rose Mark wife to late
Dr Mark Freeman,I am a cancer patient i inherited 15 million Dollars
from my late husband . I decided to use the funds to help others in need
since i have no child or close relations .I want you to use it for charity
works . It was deposited in a security company and in a trunk box and was
registered as family valuables.
I will give you futher details on how to get the fund on
reciept of your reply .
Mrs Rose Mark.