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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Missionary Carol Mitchell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 01:40:45 -0800 (PST)
Subject: PLEASE STAND AS MY NEXT OF KIN TO HELP THE POOR
I am Rev. Sister Carol Mitchell a Missionary in St Peters Catholic Church London United Kingdom, But I am Citizen of America from California USA.I am very sick now and I deposited the Sum of US$6M in Zenith Bank London United Kingdom here, But my Doctor here in the Hospital told me that I will not survive this Sickness that I have only two weeks more to live.
So I want you to help me stand as my next of kin to enable Zenith Bank London here Transfer this 6MUSD to you, But note that you will take 3MUSD out of this US$6M and give the remaining US$3M to any Charity Home in United State because that was the vow I made to my God Almighty before I became a Missionary.
I want you to get back to me immediately if you are interested to stand as my Next of Kin, So that I can introduce you to my Lawyer, Bank and direct you on how to proceed before I pass away in this world because I have only two weeks to live according to my Doctor.
You can get back to me through this email address: email@example.com
Missionary Carol Mitchell.
From St Peters Catholic Church 136 Clerkenwell Road,
London EC1R 5DL, United Kingdom