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:
- "million dollars" (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)
- "i got your email address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Isabel Cool." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 16:03:56 +0100
Subject: Hello...(It's urgent reply soon)??
Let me first of all inform you, I got your email address from a mail Directory and decided to mail you for a permission to go ahead.
Greetings to you in the most wonderful name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,His richest blessings shall be upon you forever,I am writing this mail to you with heavy tears In my eyes and great sorrow in my heart because my Doctor just announced to me that I will die in few months time because of extent damage of esophageal cancer. I have been suffering from this dreaded sickness for long, base on this development I want to will my money which is deposited in a Bank in Europe to an individual who is willingly to build a charity home for orphanage and abandoned kids.
I am in search of a reliable person who will use the Money to build charity organization for the saints and the person will take 20% of the total sum. While 80% of the money will go to the charity and orphanage. I am from Netherlands, my husband died 6 years ago as a result of car accident. i don't want a friend or someone i know to handle this project. I want the actualization of my dream to establish this charity home to come in reality even while am dead.
The total money in question is $18.5million dollars. I will provide you with other information's once you indicate your willingness.
Mrs. Isabel Cool.