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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Gado Marie-Patrice <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 07:10:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Dearest Beloved one.
Dearest Beloved one.
I am happy to request for your assistance and also to go into business partnership with You, I believe that you will not betrayed my trust which I am going to lay on you.
I am Gado Marie-Patricia, 21 years old and the only daughter of my late parents Mr.and Mrs Gado Samuel .My father was a highly reputable business magnet-(Café and Cocoa merchant) who operated in Europe and Africa during his days. It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad.My mother died when I was just 6 years old, and since then my father took me so special. Before his death, my father deposit to me the sum of Nine million six hundred thousand United State Dollars. (USD$9.600 000) in a Security Company here in Africa .I am just 21 years old and a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do. The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life. Dear, I am in a sincere Desire of your humble assistance in this regards to move the money to your country for investment.
Now permit me to ask these few questions:
1. Can I completely trust you?
2. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you?
Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded.
My sincere regards.