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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: ruth buba <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 06:04:32 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: HI DEAR
compliments of the day!
I got your contact on my
private search for a reliable and trusted person; I know that this email
will meet you in a good health and also surprisely but God have his own
way of bringing people together.I was moved to write to you and also
seek your advice of which i know that it helps me to overcome my present
situation,I'm a nice looking and charming young girl presently single
and searching for a trusted and God fearing person. My dearest,In your
free time, may it please you to write me back so that i can explain more
about myself,my details,my pictures and my purpose of writing to
you.Please do not neglect a humble and lonely
that seeks for your love. A
good friendship is the foundation build on other relative things to
come. May God bless you as i wait impatiently to read from you