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:
- "death certificate" (this phrase is often used in inheritance scams such as next of kin or http://www.419scam.org/419-murdered-businessman.htm">orphan scams. )
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barabra Cole" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2011 20:04:51 -0700
Subject: Greetings please help me.
I'm Barbara Cole, I'm 15 years old girl I live in Bolton UK before my Dad passed away in a car accident 3 years ago, I now leave with my step mum in Warrington, My mum died immediately she gave birth to me. My late Dad Mr.Norman Cole was a big business man in UK before he died in a car accident 2007 I am the only child of my Dad, he died 3 days after the accident so he Will all his life savings to me, I have been trying to collect the funds from the bank but the bank MD CEO refused, he said I should present someone old enough so he can transfer the funds to the person that I cant be in control of the huge amount of funds because I am still a teenage and it is against the UK law. I would have told my step mum to assist me in collecting the funds from the bank but she is not a good woman, my Dad warned me about her before he died, now that I leave with her I now understand that what my Dad said about her was true, because she dont give me attention she dont care if I am al
right or not, all she do is to ta
If you agree to help me, I will send you a copy of the Will and my picture so you will know me, and I will send you the contact of the Bank and tell you how much is the funds so you can contact them, and I will inform the bank that you will contact them that you are the person that want to help me. I will be waiting for your urgent reply so I can send you the contact of the bank and my fathers Will and death certificate. Please this letter has to be confidential,and I need your 100% trust and loyalty because the lawyer I got involved wanted to made away with the money, so I told the bank not to transfer the funds to him, I already promised to give you half of the funds so please be honest with me.
If you are interested please reply me on my email: email@example.com Best Regards Barbara Cole