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:
- "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 "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Angela Solomon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 08:15:25 -0100
Subject: From Mrs. Angela Solomon
My name is Mrs. Angela Solomon, A Bahrain national I have been diagnosed
With Oesophageal cancer .It has defied all forms of medical treatment,
and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to
Medical experts. I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I ever
Really cared for anyone (not even myself) but my business.
Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always hostile to
People and only focused on my business as that was the only thing I cared
for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to
life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world. I
Believe when God gives me a second chance to come to this world I would
Live my life a different way from how I have lived it. Now that God
Has called me, I have willed and given most of my property and assets to
My immediate and extended family members as well as a few closes
Friends. I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul so, I have
to give alms to charity organizations, as I want this to be one of the
last good deeds I do on earth. So far, I have distributed money to
some charity organizations in the U.A.E, Somalia and Malaysia. Now that my
Health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this myself anymore.
This is my last money which no one knows of is in the huge cash deposit of
Nine Million dollars (9, 000, 000, 00) that I have with a finance House
Abroad. I will want you to help me collect this deposit and dispatch it
to charity organizations.
As all modalities has been put in place for you to get the trunk box,
as you will not pay any penny upon arrival of the trunk box.
N/B: KINDLY NOTE
THAT 20% of these funds must go to the tsunami victims and another 10%
for your effort and time.
My Regards and hoping to hear from you soonest,
Mrs. Angela Solomon