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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- 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: "Lindachan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 14 May 2011 15:34:56 +1200
Subject: Dear Friend,
I am Mrs Linda Chan from China,I have been diagnosed with esophageal
cancer,my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Four months due
to the cancer problem. From all indications the cancer has gotten to a very
dangerous stage.When my late husband was alive we deposited the sum of
$1.5Million (USD) dollars in a Bank in Asia
Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to good person that
will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want to you
use at least 70% this fund for orphanages, widows displaced men and women
all around the globe more especially in Haiti/Gaza and take the remaining
30% to take good care of yourself and your family in your kind efforts
Assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein.
Hoping to receive your response immediately to my private