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:
- "dearest beloved one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "keep this confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Vivian Nasim" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 02:34:16 -0800
Subject: Please I Need Your Urgent Help Please.
Dearest Beloved One,
I have not considered this medium to be the best manner to have approached you of this issue being that the internet has been greatly abused over the recent years, I have decided to use this means seeing no other means could have been faster to reach you than the e-mail. My name is Mrs. Vivian Nasim, wife of late Salem Nasim, an Iraqi.
Two years ago, I lost my husband Nasim and my three children - Husam, 15 years old ,Wasim, 12 years old and Merna, 6years old, this happened when American tank shelled our car as my family attempted to flee heavy fighting in Baghdad.
Before my husband and children were killed, he deposited the sum of £4.500,000.00 (Four Million, Five Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pounds) with a bank, This is the only money remaining in the said account for a long time as unserviceable but that is not the major problem rather My Doctor told me in confidence that I would not last for the next three months due to cancer and other illness resulting from the shock of the loss of my family.
Having known my condition I decided to donate these funds to a Church or a God fearing individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein, I want an individual that will use this fund for orphanages and Charity (Humanitarian) services. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband's relatives are not Christians and I don't want my husbands hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers: I dont want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner.
would have been better placed if the situation in my country permits me to give this money to my new Church, but due to the constant break down of law and order in my country that keep affecting Churches there from time to time, if I do so I am not sure that any project this money will be invested will not be destroyed.
I have to leave my country for London where I am taking treatment. and as soon as I conclude with handing over this money to someone my heart accepts, I will go back to my Country to Answer my last Call.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the telephone and email contact of my lawyer who will help you with all the legal documents that will back you up and also make you the original- beneficiary of the fund. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. Please you are advice to keep this confidential from eyes and ears of my husband's family as I hope to hear from you soon.
Pray for me as well and may God bless you as you accept to be of help. Please reply if you have accepted to be of help to me.