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:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" 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 (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Thomas Roland"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2011 10:39:04 -0700
Subject: From; Mr Thomas Roland..
From; Mr Thomas Roland.
How are you and your family? I hope all is well.My name is Mr Thomas Roland, A Portugal national,i have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live. I am very rich, but was never generous; I have given most of my assets to my immediate family members.
I have decided to give alms to charity organizations. I cannot do this myself anymore because of my health. I once asked members of my family to give some money to charity organizations, they refused and kept the money.I found your contact particular in an address journal. I am seeking your kind assistance to help me share this money to charity organization,if your e-mail is real.
I have a huge cash deposit of Twenty Million dollars($20,000,000) with a finance House abroad. I will want you to help me collect this deposit and dispatch it to charity organizations. You will take out 30% of these funds for your assistance and Effort,please if you are interested in helping me,do not hesitate in contacting me as soon as possible.
Please send me the following details for identification and it will be kept save from third party also i will forward your information to the finance House abroad,just for there diplomat to know you are the real bonafide beneficiary from me.
 Full Names:  Contact address:  Direct Telephone  Date of birth:  Occupation:
NOTE Do not discuss this matter with anybody for security reason and also not to go away with the money when it get to your destination, should you have reasons to reject this offer, please and please destroy this message as any leakage of this information will be too bad for my family to know about because they have been so wicked to me,all they care for is my money. I do know how long i have before my operation will take place,this and other detail will be mention later has prompted me to reach out for help, I honestly want this matter to be solved immediately, please contact me as soon as possible via e-mail which is my way of communication.If this arrangement is Okay by you,you can e-mail me for security reason,other modalities will be discussed as soon as you get back to me including sending of the keys to the boxes to you.
Get in contact with me through my personal email address for fast reply : firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Thomas Roland.