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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Lilian Williams <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 18:34:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Greeting Dear,
I know you will be surprise to receive my mail since we have neither seen nor met before but after going through your profile and more consideration about this offer. I have decided to contact you and introduce myself. I am Ms Lilian Williams the only daughter of late Mr and Mrs Donald Williams, I wish to request for your assistance in a financial transaction and wish to invest in Manufacturing and real estate management in your country. I have Seven million two hundred thousand united states dollars.USD($7.200,000) to invest in your country, and I will require your assistance in receiving the funds in your personal account for investment, I will be gladly to give you 15% of the total sum for your assistance. Please it is very important you contact me immediately on my email for further explanation on how we will proceed .
Awaiting your immediate response.
Thanks and God bless.
Ms Lilian Williams.