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:
- "hundred thousand american 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: liza benson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2012 09:17:58 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: From : Liza Benson
>From : Liza Benson
The only daughter of late Mr and Mrs David Kambo Benson, I contacted you after praying and fasting for God's direction in search of a honest and sincere person who will sincerely assist me in this transaction, I believe that my contact with you is not by chance but for the good will of almighty God to be done in our life is my pleasure to contact you for a business venture which I intend to establish in your country, Though I have not met with you before but I believe one has to risk, confiding in someone to succeed in this life. Please and Please, Do not be embarrassed, I prayed for God's direction to find a honest and truthful person in my life cause I find it difficult to find one here because of my father's reputation as a wealthy person here before his sudden death, leaving me inheritance of fortune worth four million five hundred thousand American dollars (4,500,000 America dollars )
My intension is to transfer this money to your country for investment on a lucrative business which you will manage together with me, I decided to contact you, seeking for your honest and sincere assistance because I am too young to handle this transaction, I will give you more information and my photos as soon as I hear from you. I have decided to offer you 20% of the total amount of money as a compensation for your efforts input in this transaction, that is just for your honest and sincere assistance to me, then you handle and control the investment while i continue my education there in your country and joins you in the investment as soon as i finish my education there. I will fly to meet you there in your country for the investment and to start my new life with you as soon you confirm my only inheritance there and i hope to establishing a rewarding and good relationship with you. For more information,
I am waiting to hear from you as soon as possible.
Thanks sincerely assist
Miss Liza Benson