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:
- "consignment " (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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: mrs joy Harold <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2011 20:14:55 +0100 (BST)
Subject: DONATION FOR THE LORD
Greetings in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. I am Mrs Joy Harold
from Bahrain, a widow to late JohnÂ Harold Aroma I am 51 years old, i am now a new Christian convert, suffering from long time cancer of the breast, from all indication my condition is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that i won't live more than 2 months, according to my doctors, this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very worst stage.
My late husband and my only child died last five years, his death was politically motivated. My late husband was a very rich and wealthy business man who was running his cocoa business in Cote dâIvoire and after his death; i inherited all his business and wealth. my doctors has advised me that i may not live for more than 2 months, so i now decided to divide the part of this wealth, to contribute to the development of the church in Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. i collected your email address during my desperate search on the internet and i prayed over it.
I decided to donate the sum of $4,500,000.00 usd( Four million five hundred thousand united states dollars) to the less privileged because i cannot take this money to the grave. Please i want you to note that this fund Deposited in a Security vault in Ivory Coast in West Africa, Consignment deposited as family valueables and treasure.
Once i hear from you, i will forward to you all the informationâs you will use to get this fund released from the security company and to be transferred to you. i honestly pray that this money when transferred to you, will be sure for the said purpose, because i have come to find out that wealth acquisition without Christ is vanity. may the grace of our lord Jesus the love of god and the fellowship of god be with you and your family.
Please contact me in this my private e-mail id firstname.lastname@example.org so that i will give you all the details
Your beloved sister in Christ.
Mrs Joy Harold.