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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Rita Andersen" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 03:48:36 +0300
Subject: Urgent Assistance
I am Mrs. Rita Andersen from Luxemburg, I am 51 years old; I am now a new
Christian convert, suffering from long breast cancer. Slowly my husband
was killed during the Gulf War and during our wedding, we had a son who
also died in a cold blood during the Gulf War.
My deceased husband was very wealthy and after his death, will inherited
all businesses and wealth. I selected after visiting the site for this
purpose and prayed more than I am willing to donate the sum of ($
18.5Million) in motherless baby homes, needy, poor, charity homes and
widows too. Personal doctor told me that It can live for more than six
months Lastly, I you can pray for me regarding my entire life and my
health because I have come to learn from my spiritual birth lately that
wealth acquisition not Jesus Christ in a life is vanity of vanity.
Please kindly advice if you will be able to help me do this. Thank you
Reply as soon as possible.