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.
- 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: "Wake M.Morgan" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 12:26:39 -0700
Subject: Use For Benevolent Work
Please donít be offended and forgive me for any inconveniences which this letter
may cause you for writing to you without your prior consent. Please, i
anticipate that you read it quickly and let me know your opinion or willingness
to use this my last remaining fortune i WILLED to you for the work of humanity.
Firstly, Am Mrs. Wak-Michelle Morgan from Denmark, 61 yrs, a widow with No child
with my late husband who died 3 Yrs Ago. Am suffering from Breast Cancer that
has affected my Lung/Liver and just recently it disfigured my Mouth made me
unable to talk.
As my doctors confirmed that I have less down two months to live on this earth.
I have benevolently donated out all my achieved fortunes and i WILLED my
remaining balance of US$6,370,216.00 into my Account with WBnk London to You for
benevolence Work of God Especially for Cancer patients, Orphanages/Motherless
Babies home where I was raised and you also donate to Haiti Earthquake Disaster
victims and keep some for yourself. Reach me now on (Email: email@example.com)
for full detail. With love from Mrs. Wak-Michelle Morgan.