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 will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Lewis <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 13:35:12 +0530 (IST)
Subject: Beloved Help me out
Beloved Help me out
Based on your good profile I want to solicit for your help in fulfilling my wish, I am Mrs Ruth Lewis, 58yrs old widow from France, my husband and I worked with Tullow oil Cote dâIvoire before he died seven years ago, I am writing you this message via a computer lap top on my sick bed at the hospital where I am undergoing medical treatment I have been diagnosed of Endometrial cancer unfortunately for me my doctor said I don't have any chance to survive except by a miracle I have spent a lot of money on medical treatment yet no improvement.
The reason why I am writing you this letter is because I want you to stand as beneficiary to the sum of my $ 2.5 Million (Two million five hundred thousand united states dollars) I donât have any biological child of my own who will inherit this money neither do I have any adopted child My relatives and friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my illness and I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them anymore.
I want to donate this money to support churches and evangelism I also want to help children and orphanages in your country Donating this $ 2.5 Million dollars as charity is the only legacy I can leave behind after my death, help me to fulfil this goal before I die and please always remember to pray for me when I die my soul will rest in peace.
Pls they have political crisis here in my country so I will like to transfer this money before anything happing to the money so if you are willing to help me receive this money pls I will like you to contact me today.
Consider this and get back to me immediately for further explanation and conversation on how we will proceed:
Hoping to receive your reply remains blessed in the Lord
Yours in Christ
Mrs Ruth Lewis.