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:
- "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: "Mrs.Paula Cameron." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 08:06:26 +0100
Subject: Beloved in Christ
I am Mrs. Paula Cameron. I was married to Late Dr. Edward Cameron who was based in Falkland Islands . My Husband died on February 2nd 2007 after a brief illness.
I am presently diagnosed of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) and recently, my Doctor told me that I may not last for the next Three Months. Having known my
condition, I have decided to entrust my entire estate to a honest individual who will utilize this money in the manner at which the funds are meant for.
Beloved, I choose this means to locate you because I am sure that I will be lead to the kind of person that will be totally honest with me. Due to my health condition,
delay in your reply will not be of any benefit to me and this will propel me to search for someone else.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I have stated above.
Please email me back on :email@example.com
In His Arms.