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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: miss clara <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 1:44:18 +0900
Subject: Hello Dear,
I decided to contact you for assistance. I am Miss Clara Bede, 20 years and the only child of late Mr and Mrs Hosiah Bede of blessed memory.
My father was a cocoa merchant and supporter of the opposition party leader in our country. Before he was assassinated by unknown Gun Men suspected to be agents of the government. If you are very familiar with news from my country (Ivory Coast), you will understand that many supporters of the opposition has been killed, attacked or wounded. My father use to be a nice and generous man. It is very sad to say that he just died this way. I pray to God to avenge his death.
My late father, immediately the present crisis started in our country after the 30th November run-off election between the incumbent president and the opposition leader, handed over to me documents covering deposit of funds sum of USD10.5 Million he made in a local bank here which is in a suspense account awaiting transfer to overseas.
Now my father has been buried and burial ceremonies completed according to our village local tradition and custom. Now because of the circumstance surrounding the death of my father, I now feel that the best thing to do is to travel out of country for my safety that is why I am contacting you to help me receive this money in your bank in your country and also help me come over to your country for my safety. It was in my fatherâs earlier arrangement before his untimely death as my mother died when I was a kid. I will continue my education in your country once this money gets to your account.
I will need your urgent reply immediately so that I can give you details.
Waiting for your quick reply.
Miss Clara Bede