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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Nadine N. Sidambaram" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 06:24:49 -0600
Subject: Re: FUNDS TRANSFER!!!
I am Mrs.Nadine N. Sidambaram,an Indian Malaysian married to late politician,Mr.N. Sidambaram.My husband was divisional treasurer of Ipoh Barat unit of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) in Perak state.He was brutally murdered by opposing members of his party for his straightforwardness and accountability though the government claimed that it was a roberry attack.I was lucky to stand this gruesome murder on the night of 13th January 2009.My life has not being the same since the demise of my lovely husband.I was diagonised with cancer of breast shortly after this accident.My health has so deteriorated that the doctors say I have few months on earth.Our only son died in 2007 after a car crash.So,I am in a lonely world of my home waiting for death to come.Presently i am in South africa undergoing treatment in the best goverment hospital.
I write you to seek your assistance in the security of US$7.5million deposited by my late husband with a SOUTH AFRICAN RESERVE BANK in SOUTH AFRICA before he was killed.The South african reserve bank will allow you go on their online banking to transfer the funds.I am the only one with direct access and information of this deposit.I decided to seek help knowing that my days are numbered having received a call from the Reserve bank that they will turn the deposit to its treasury if I fail to present a representative of my family for the claim.I seek your assistance to be made the administrator to this inheritance.I intend to introduce you to our family attorney whom I deem very competent to guide you through this claim process.Please get back to me for more information on this inheritance.I was lead by the Almighty to send this email to you after serious thought of all emails I saw on the internet.Please treat this seriously.I have all documents of deposit of this fund to pro!
ve this legitimate to you.
Please follow this link for further information on the gruesome killing of my husband:
I hope to hear from you soonest before I go.Thank you.send your reply to me so that we can finalise this transfer within 3 days,i have all documentation to back up this claim,this is my email address: email@example.com
reply me to: firstname.lastname@example.org