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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Sheree Ping Par" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 03:54:21 +0000
Subject: Humanitarian Pledge
My dear friend,
i am Mrs. Sheree Ping Par, a nationality of Philippines.i have been
diagnosed of advanced cervical cancer for more than two years and all
these period i have stay and live my entire life in the hospital and
my illness has defiles all forms of medical treatment and the medical
experts just informed me that i have barely two weeks to live from
i have US$18.5million i vow to God almighty that i will donate and
distribute them to charities organisation for humanitarian cause
before i die
After reviewing your profile, i have prayed seriously and God almighty
directed me to contact you and release those money to you to assist me
to executive my vow and desire to propagate the Faith of God in this
world by reaching out to the poor, downtrodden, natural disasters
If you accept to assist me please send your reply for more information.
pls don't be late. God bless you
yours true God fearing
mrs Sheree Ping Par