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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss Gen Doglas" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2010 18:25:00 +0100
Subject: Compliment of the day.
I am Gen Doglas, I am a 21 yrs old girl from Zimbabwe whose parents were assassinated in cold blood by unknown government men, I am temporally seeking protection in West African, I came across this email ID and decided to ask you for this request, it is true that i don't know you and you don't me, but I believe if you have a kind heart you can be off help to me.
I write to say that i want your assistance to come over to your country to start a new life, it is not safe and free here in Africa, most especially when your parents are not available to take care of you, I inherited a legacy of Four Million Five Hundred United States dollars from my father, I am asking for your trust-ship to secure this money for me in a trust account, and also to use this benefits to take care of me in your country, please feel very free to write back to me as soon as possible, if you are willing to help me, for sure you will be compensated for this assistance.
I wait to hear from you soon.