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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Anna Blanchard" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 09:32:19 +0300
It is good writing you today although we haven't known nor met each other
before. My name is Mrs. Anna Blanchard. I was married to late Mr. William
Blanchard who Based in Ivory Coast as an Investor for a period of 19
years. He left some amount of $4,500,000.00 with a financial institution
in Cote D'Ivoire. Recently, my Doctor told me that I might not live for
more than Eight months from now due to my cancer illness.
Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to an organization
or good person that will utilize it for the benefit of the less
privileged. Using part of it to establish businesses that will create job
opportunities for the jobless population is also a good idea. Any delay in
your reply may give me room to search for another good person for this
same purpose. May GOD bless you.
Mrs. Anna Blanchard