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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "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.
- 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: Dube Lillian <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 00:47:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Need Your Humble Assistant
I really want you to bear with me after reading my mail, of which we all know that bad people in this world have made us not to trust the good once again, but as for me you really need to trust me. I am a God fearing person, all through my life, I like truth and honesty, and let it be our watch word.
For your information, I am Lillian Dube, I have no child, I am the only daughter to Late Mr. Frank Edward Dube. I am writing you this mail from the hospital, of which my condition is very bad. My doctor called me personally this morning and he said I will not last for the next one Month . So I don't really know what to do, my father, mother and other sisters are late, is only me and my younger brother. Really I need your assistance, as am going to die soon, but all I need is for you to assist me to receive the sum of $3,000,000 that was deposited by our late father in a Security Company.
Please, I want you to help my younger brother to further his education in your country, he is still a young man , because if I die nobody can help him here, so I don't want people to kill him for nothing. And that is why I really need your assistance.
Please, be rest assured that you will never be let down and this transaction is 100% risk free.
Feel free to contact my younger brother (Brian) on this email address Dubebriany@hotmail.com