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:
- ",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: Mrs Alice Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 30 May 2011 00:34:30 +0530 (IST)
Subject: (Dear God's elect,)
(Dear God's elect,)
I am touched by God to hand you over this money considering my last wish, and you should also know that my contact to you is by special grace of God, please understand that you are not helping me rather you are working for God the creator of heaven and earth.
In respect of my previous message; Nevertheless, (30% Percent) of the total money 8,500,000.00 USD is for your personal use and 70 Percent to help orphanages, Building a Clinic school and widows to endeavor that the house of God is maintained, I hope you will utilize this money the way I instructed you here
On the process of receiving your first response, i have now extented the communication to the knowledge of my personal lawyer who will take a proper charge of the fund remiting procedure to your destination to enable you excute my last wished project. The contact of the attoney in charge will be made available to you as soon as i am convinced of your honesty in this project for the release of the amount. With regard to my ill health and the presence of my husband's relatives around me here in the hospital, I do not need any telephone communication in this mostly because I seldom them to know about this as they are not aware of the deposited money.
Moreover, further discusion in this matter will require your official presence to change the related documents to your name due to my illness of course will not allow me to move out of this hospital bed, meanwhile the bank will also request your present to sign the release order document considering the amount of money involve (8,500,000.00 USD) On this reason you will make arrangement to undertake (Three to Four 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 processing of my project.
Don't forget to always pray for me because all my hope to survive is in God the creator who holds death and life.
Hoping to receive your reply.