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:
- "good day friend" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "JOYCE ANN MIDDLETON" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 07:01:27 -0800
Subject: GOOD DAY FRIEND AND HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY?
GOOD DAY FRIEND AND HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY?
I KNOW YOU MAY BE WONDERING TO RECEIVE THIS MESSAGE FROM A COMPLETE TOTAL
STRANGER YOU HAVE NEVER MET BEFORE, I AM USING THIS AS THE ONLY MEDIUM TO
COMMUNICATE WITH YOU AT THE MOMENT DUE TO MY HEALTH CONDITION IN BRIEF MY NAME
IS JOYCE MIDDLETON, FROM GEORGIA UNITED STATES. I RESIDE HERE IN 925 UNOIN CHURCH ROAD
COLQUITT GA 39837
I WANT TO PASS THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO YOU DUE TO MY PRESENT CONDITION
AND I WANT YOU TO MAKE USE OF IT VERY WELL WHEN IT GET TO YOU, I AM INTO
TRADING BUSINESS WHICH KEPT ME BUSY AT ALL TIME TRAVELING FROM STATES TO
UNITED KINGDOM ON MY BUSINESS AFFAIRS AS I LOST MY HUSBAND AND THREE CHILDREN
THROUGH A CAR ACCIDENT, AFTER THIS I CAME ACROSS YOUR CONTACT DETAILS IN THE
INTERNET DIRECTORY WHICH I HAVE DECIDE TO GIVE YOU TWO MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED
THOUSAND DOLLARS ($2.800,000usd) IN MY ACCOUNT WITH THE BANK OF AMERICA (B.O.A)
I WILL HELP YOU FINANCIALLY, IF YOU NEED HELP PLEASE CONTACT ME AS SOON YOU CAN.
HAVE A BLESSED DAY