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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (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 Rachel Morgan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mrs Rachel Morgan <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 16:55:00 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: From Mrs. Rachel Morgan..
Dear belove friend,
With due humanity care and love, I will like you to help me accomplish my heart desire wish for the orphanage and widows with my US$2.8 Million, donation.
In brief. My name is Rachel Morgan, an aging widow suffering from long time illness. I am suffering from ovarian cancer & stroke illness, which the medical experts confirmed to me that I have two months to live on earth.
Having known my condition, I decided to donate the $2,800,000.00. Which I inherited from my late husband to you, so that you will utilize the money for the Lord's work and 50% out of the total money will be for you, as your own compensation for doing this work of God.
Therefore, if you can sincerely handle this project as i have said, I look forward to read your urgent reply and promise not to betray my trust on you once the bank transfer the money to you.
Mrs Rachel Morgan.