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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "contact me immediately" (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 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: Susan Mbarote <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 21:23:02 -0500
Subject: Hello Dear,
I know that this proposal might be a surprise to you but do consider it as an emmergency. I introducing my self as Ms.Susan Mbarote. 21years of age,from the republic of Sudan in Africa,now seeking for church Mission camp in
Dakar Senegal under the UN destitude home. I am the only Daugther of late COL Wateral Mbarote. was managing director of Zamgo and Associates (Ltd) based in Khartoum in Sudan, before he was poisoned to death by his business associates
on one of their outing to discuss on a business.However, after their death I managed to escape with a very important documents DEPOSIT CERTIFICATE of Five Million and Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars($5.700,000) in a finances
company which i am the next of kin. I seek a trust worthy foriegn person to assist me achieve my late father fund because of my situation here.I got your contact from this google search.lt I will be gladly to give you 25% of the
total sum for your assistance input. please it is very important you contact me immediately on my private email address: (email@example.com) for
further explanation on how we will proceed. Awaiting your immediate response,
Thanks and God bless.Best Regards