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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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: Martha Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2010 05:59:20 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Dear truly of God
(Dear truly of God)
I was touched by God to make a free donation of my fortune enherited from my late husband. I am talking of $8,500,000 US dollar in my account which i have meant for A good charitable work of God to less privilege (Orphans, patients, widows, disabled, war victims etc) among us through your contact. I sort your contact by the special grace of God and used this possible means to reach you because I can not talk on telephone regarding my illness. Please, hark to this humble letter from I Mrs. Brown. I am childless widow and a Christian fellow suffering from an esophageal cancer.
For long now I have been suffering from the pains and agony of the illness, I have undergone series of treatments but no improvement. Recently my doctor declared that I will not last forth coming Month and my living is unpredictable. Besides, I am not sure of my recovery; By the special grace of God i wish to make a generous offer of this sum (USD$8.5 Million) through you. I want you to carry out this solemn work of God on my behalf with fear of God because my days are numbered and i can not continue. I declare 30% of the total money for your personal use While 70% of the money will go to the charity work.
I will give you the contact address of my bank Banco Santander Bank as soon as I am convinced of your honesty. Moreover, further discusion on this matter will require your official presence to change the related documents to your name of course my illness will not allow me to move out of this hospital bed, meanwhile the bank will also request for your present to sign the release order document considering the amount involved ($8,500,000.00 US). On this reason you will make arrangement to undertake 3/4 working days in order to meet with my lawyer to enable him make sure that you are properly handed over the fund to go on with the charity project.
I hope my letter will find you in a suitable health situation. Don't forget always pray for me because all my hope to survive is in the hand of God the author and finisher of my life. i hope to hear from you soon.
Best wishes and warm regard,