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:
- "i got your email address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Stacy Stanford Mack." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 23:19:31 +0800
Subject: My Beloved
Good day to you and I hope this mail meets you and your family well today?
This message is a very unusual one but bearing in mind my limitations I decided to contact you.
My name is Mrs.Stacy Stanford Mack, I am terminally ill and bed ridden. Having accepted my condition I decided to entrust some fund I have (US$ 4.2 Million) deposited in Europe to either a philanthropic organization or devoted individual that will utilize this money for charitable activities.
30% of the money is allocated to you, to ensure that you are prepared for the task; the balance 70% of this money will be used by you in all sincerity to fund philanthropic organization, orphanages.
I am taking this decision because I don't have any child or devoted relations whose behavior has left much to be desired and above all I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an unGodly manner, hence my bold decision to contact you, a total stranger. Since my health is regressing by the minute, you will have to tell me a little about yourself, because I got your email address from the Internet.
With the information, I will make arrangement to prepare the Authorization through an Attorney for you to get possession of the Deposit. I will give you the name and contact of the bank where the money is lodged in Europe thereafter, so you can claim the funds.
Until I hear from you, I pray that this letter bring you and your family good tidings.
God be with you
Mrs.Stacy Stanford Mack.