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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: SISTER JUSTINA MARTHIN <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 0:20:15 +0900
Subject: DEAREST IN THE LORD
DEAREST IN THE LORD,
I am sister justina MARTHIN aging widow suffering from long time illness. I have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of (6 MILLION U.S DOLLARS) and I needed a very honest and God fearing Christian that will use the fund for God's work, I found your email address from the internet and decided to contact you.
Please if you would be able to use the funds for the Lord's work, kindly reply back immediately for further details. PLEASE ASURE ME THAT YOU WILL ACT ACCORDINGLY AS I STARTED HERE IN YOU CAN STILL EMAIL ME THROUGH THIS ADDRESSES .(firstname.lastname@example.org) FOR SECURITY REASONS I MEAN MY HUSBAND'S RELATIVES AND I WANT YOU TO FAST AND PRAY FOR GOD TO TAKE ABSOLUT CONTROLL OF THIS FUND UNTILL IT GET TO YOU .
Yours in the Lord,
sister justina MARTHIN