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.
- 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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:
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 00:47:25 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Dear in Christ
Dear in Christ,
Greetings to you and your family. I am Mrs Naome Kone," A widow to late "Alex Kone" I am 54 years old, suffering from pancreatic cancer, My condition is really bad and it is quite obvious that I wonât live more than two months according to my doctors, I am willing to donate the sum of $6,500,000 US dollars for you to help widows and the less privileged ones in the rural and urban areas and to carry out charity works. I do not want any of my late husband relatives to know about this fund, Due to because they are unbeliever and I do not want this fund to be use ungodly means. Your religion dose not matter, what I need is your honest and sincere mind and ready to handle this fund very well.
If you are assure that you will not betray my trust, Do get back to me with your full details ,such as ; Your full Name, Home Address and direct phone number. I will use this details to hand you over to the bank and ask the bank to open communication with you.Please,Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible.Through my private email box (email@example.com)
Do put me in your daily prayers.
I wait to see your response.
Mrs. Naome Kone