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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ester Barnor" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 19:20:23 +0100
Subject: How are you and your family??
How are you and your family?
My name is Angela Barnor I am 54 years old, I am a dying woman who have decided to donate what I have to you .I was diagnosed for cancer for about 2 years ago. I have been touched by GOD to donate what I have inherited from my late husband and help through you to the people that have less or none to leave.I have asked GOD to forgive me and I believe he has because he is a merciful GOD.Recently my doctor informed me that i have six months to leave as a result of my stroke and cancer problem that is why i want to make sure that this fund is use to good effect so that even if i die i will die a happy woman knowing fully well that the less fortunate has been benefited from the fund.
I decided to WILL/donate the sum of 10.5 million dollars to you for this cause, and also to help the other less privilege people.At the moment I cannot take any telephone calls due to the fact that my relatives (That have squandered the funds I gave them for purposes like this before) are around me and my health status also.I wish you all the best and may the good GOD blessyou abundantly, and please use the Funds judiciously and always extend the good work to others.
As soon you get back to me, I shall give you info on what I need from you then you will contact my bank and request them to transfer the fund to your account. THE NECESSARY REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR CONTACT WITH THE BANK WILL BE PROVIDED AS WE PROCEED, And I will also notify my bank that I have mandated you to use the fund for charity, effective and prudent work. I know I don't know you but I have been directed to do this by GOD. And you are the nearest contact I have been able to reach.
Thanks and GOD bless.