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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "huge amount of money" (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 orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss.Lois Machar" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 10:21:32 +0100 (BST)
Subject: I'M GLAD TO BE YOUR FRIEND
I want to thank you for your reply, My name is Miss Lois Machar, 25years old originated from Benin. I am fair in complexion, romantic and caring. I think we could have a good relationship, even though it might start with the least level of relationship as friends. And i am going to tell you every thing about me here for honest and sincerity.
My late father ( Dr John Machar) was the managing director of machar and Associates (Ltd) and he was the personal adviser to the former head of state before the rebels attacked our house one early morning and killed my mother and my father in cold blood.
Please Do not be offended for this message that comes from me please, fair which to me obliged to put simple trust on you due to my situation here as a refugee and I shall demand most your conscientiousness after yours to know about me, I shall really grow fond we to have good in spite attitudes therefore I have this as a trust which i believe that you can not betray it at the end. I have communicated you because of my difficult situation here in this refugee camp; Its just like one staying in the prison and i hope by Gods grace I will come out here soon.
After the burial of my late father, some people conspired and sold my father's properties to one Chinese Expatriate and left nothing for me. One faithful morning, I opened my father's briefcase and found out the documents which he have deposited huge amount of money in a Bank in Benin with my name as the next of kin. I travelled to one of the west African countries (Dakar Senegal) for my safety first. I am seeking refugee under the (UNHCR) in Dakar Senegal.
I also discovered inside the briefcase a written Will, which states that, the Bank should not release the money to me until i am married or present a trustee who will help me and invest the money overseas.
I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and I believe that you will not betray my trust. But rather take me as your own sister. Though you may wonder why I am so soon revealing myself to you without knowing you, well, I will say that my mind convinced me that you are the true person to help me. More so, I will like to disclose much to you if you can help me to relocate to your country because my uncles have threatened to assassinate me.
The amount is $3.5 Million and I have confirmed from the bank . You will also help me to place the money in a profitable business venture in your Country.However, you will help by recommending a nice University in your country so that I can complete my studies.
It is my intention to compensate you with 15% of the total money for your services and the balance shall be my capital in your establishment. As soon as I receive your interest in helping me, I will put things into action immediately.
In the light of the above, I shall appreciate an urgent reply indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction sincerely. Please do keep this only to your self. I beg you not to disclose it till I come over because I am afraid of my wicked uncles who have threatened to kill me.
Waiting to read from you soon,
Miss Lois Machar