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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR WILLIAM MARK" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 12:23:08 -0000
Subject: Contact Me Now Please
greetings to you in the name of our heavenly God.This mail might come to you as a surprise and the temptation to ignore it as unserious could come into your mind; but please, consider it a divine wish and accept it with a deep sense of humility. My name is William Mark I,m a 55 years old man. I am British living in Dubai (United Arab Emirate). I was a merchant and owned two businesses in Dubai.
I was also married with two children. My wife and two children died in a car accident six years ago. Before this happened my business and concern for making money was all I lived for. I never really cared about other values in life. But since the loss of my family, I have found a new desire to assist helpless families. I have been helping orphans in orphanage/ motherless homes. I have donated some money to orphans in Sudan, South Africa, Cameroon, Brazil, Spain, Austria, Germany and some Asian countries. Before I became ill, I kept $4.5 Million in a long-term deposit account in a finance/security company .
Presently, I,m in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for oesophageal cancer. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live. It is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity organizations. Because relatives and friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my illness, I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them.
Please, I beg you in the name of God to help me collect the deposit and the interest accrued from the company and distributes it amongst charity organizations. your share of will be 30% of the total money for your help and for any cost you incur during the process of collecting and distributing the money to charity organizations.
I,m willing to offer you a reward If you are willing to help please reply as soon as you can. May the good Lord bless you and your family.