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:
- "million dollars" (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)
- "remain blessed" (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: "Eric Williford" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2011 04:14:51 -0700
Subject: i wait to hear from you
I am Eric Williford from Northern Ireland an SDR Project Engineering and Systems Design, i fell sick February 2011 since then i have been on medical treatment after which it was confirmed by my doctor i have cancer. i do not know if i will survive this illness because the doctors says the illness can not be cured but i will live on drugs, since my wife is no more and i have no kids to take my money, i have decided to donate the funds to help the needy, i want to donate $5.2 million dollars to a church or better still a trust worthy Christian that will utilize this money the way i am going to instruct herein, i want a church or a Christian that will use this money to help the needy, widows, provide education and good health for the orphanage children and invest part of the funds on reasonable business investment to keep the long terms needs of the needy.
Bible made us to understand that givers never lack and blessed is the hand that giveth, i want you to read this verse to the end, it is my favorite verse in bible (John 14 to the end). If you are a trust worthy Christian and interested in what i have explain herein, contact me for further discussion, 10% will be rewarded to you for your assistance and time effort for standing on my behalf to accomplish my wishes i instructed above, i am offering this 10% to avoid greed, disappointment or failure not to accomplish my wishes because i am using this donation to sow seed as a point of contact prayers to God concerning my condition. Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Your brother in christ.
Founder/Ceo Civil & Municipal Engineering Consulting Company
Ensure to contact me via my personal email: Eric56Williford@aol.co.uk