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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- 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: "Mrs.G. Rohana" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2011 17:46:27 -0400 (EDT)
With warm hearts I offer my friendship, and my greetings, and I
hope this letter meets you in good time. My name is Mrs. Grace RohanaÂ Â
I am married to Dr Rohana James who worked with the English Embassy in
Hong Kong for nine years, Before he died in 2005.We were married for
eleven years without a child.He died after a brief illness that lasted
for four days, When my husband was alive he deposited the sum of
Â£9,6million (Nine million six hundred thousand pounds) with a finance
company in Europe.Recently my doctor told me that i will take the grace
of GOD for me to live one year more due to cancer problems.
I would like you to stand in as next of kin and set up a charity
organization with the funds. Reply to this email firstname.lastname@example.org