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:
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Angela Campbell" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 14:38:33 +0100
Subject: Please I Am Waiting For Your Response
My name is Angela Campbell, wife of Late Mike Campbell the murdered white farmer in Zimbabwe.
Please my children and I need your urgent assistance as we want to leave this country immediately
before we get killed like my late husband as I have been receiving letter of threats from the President
Mugabe's allies and I need to to relocate to your country with my children immediately. So I really need you
to assist me put things outside the country before I leave the country.
You can read about my late husband and what we are suffering here on this link below:
Kindly respond to day as I wait urgently to hearing from you.
Thanks and God Bless You
Mrs Angela Campbell