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:
- "death certificate" (this phrase is often used in inheritance scams such as next of kin or https://www.419scam.org/419-murdered-businessman.htm">orphan scams. )
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447024029317 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barbara Norman Cole" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2011 15:15:58 -0400
Subject: Hello please help me
I am Barbara Cole, I am 15 years old girl I live in Bolton UK before my father passed away in a car accident 3 years ago, I now leave with my step mother in Warrington, My mother died immediately she gave birth to me. My late father Mr. Norman Cole was a big business man in UK before he died in a car accident 2007 I am the only child of my father, he died 3 days after the accident so he Will all his life savings to me, I have been trying to collect the funds from the bank but the bank MD CEO refused, he said I should present someone old enough so he can transfer the funds to the person that I cant be in control of the huge amount of funds because I am a teenage and it is against the UK law.
I would have told my step mother to assist me in collecting the funds from the bank but she is not a good woman, my father warned me about her before he died, now that I leave with her I now understand that what my father said about her was true, Now that I stay with her in Warrington she dont give me attention she dont care if I am alright or not, all she do is to take hard drugs and bring different men to the house. I dont want to have anything to do with her. If I get her involved in this she will use all the funds to take hard drugs. All I wish for right now is someone old enough and honest to help me collect my funds from the bank as I am still a teenage and it is against the UK law. Why I can't wait until i am 18 years is because what my step mother is doing to me is not fair and i don't want her to Influence me with her bank life style i just wan't to leave so i can leave a better life.
I know we dont know each other but please I need your help if you can assist me to collect the funds from the bank I will give you 50% out of the funds, Then you will help me invest my 50% until I am 18 and I will be staying with you or you will get somewhere for me to stay until I am 18 years old.
If you agree to help me, I will send you a copy of the Will and my picture so you will know me, and I will send you the contact of the Bank and tell you how much is the funds so you can contact them, and I will inform the bank that you will contact them that you are the person that want to help me.
I will be waiting for your urgent reply so I can send you the contact of the bank and my fathers Will and death certificate.
Please this letter has to be confidential, if my step mother finds out about this, she will kill me, and please I need your 100% trust and loyalty because the lawyer I got involved wanted to made away with the money, so I told the bank not to transfer the funds to him, I already promised to give you half of the funds so please be honest with me.
If you are interested please reply me on my email: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call me on my mobile no: 44-702-402-9317