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 beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand u.s 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)
- "god fearing " (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Imilda Elkousy" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 01:21:14 +0700
Subject: Dear Beloved,from Mrs.Imilda Elkousy
Dear Beloved,from Mrs.Imilda Elkousy,
I am Mrs.Imilda Elkousy a widow suffering from long time illness. I have some funds I inherited from my late husband,Adel Elkousy who died in an air crash on the 31st October 1999 in an Egyptian airline 990 with other passengers on board (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/502503.stm).
I was a month pregnant when I received the sad news of his sudden death, but I lost the pregnancy because of the trauma and have vowed not to remarry. I dedicated my life to minor charity work, but because of the trauma of his death and my childlessness,I became ill of the Cervix Cancer with other sickness of been lonely for years. Since then, I have been in and out of the hospital under the intensive care of medical experts.
Believing God to see me through in the operation which the doctors are deciding upon because of my age and fear of medical complication due to the deteriorating state of my health , I have decided to give out the deposit which my late husband had left me and the ever hoped child.
The deposit is valued US$4,500.000.00 (Four million,five hundred thousand u.s dollars) and I am in need of a very honest and God fearing person that will use the fund for God's work to help the less privileged out there.
Please bear in mind that my concern is your personal commitment towards any project that you will embark upon to ensure that its benefit is well distributed among the less privileged in the immediate society.
I have mapped out $500.000.00 for your personal use in this work, while I pray that the rest will be used for the mission.
Please if you know that you will sincerely use the fund to fulfill this dream, kindly reply for further details with your information to this email firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) Your full Name and address contact with telephone number (2) Nationality (3) Country of Residence (4) Occupation (5) Age / Sex (6)Marital Status.