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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 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)
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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 "dying widow" scam.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Chinello Akaoma" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 04:24:09 +1000
Greetings in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. I am Mrs Chinello Akaoma
from Bahrain, a widow to late Jean Akaoma I am 51 years old, i am now a new
Christian convert, suffering from long time cancer of the breast, from all
indication my condition is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that i
won't live more than 2 months, according to my doctors, this is because the
cancer stage has gotten to a very worst stage.
My late husband and my only child died last five years, his death was
politically motivated. My late husband was a very rich and wealthy business man
who was running his cocoa business in Cote dâIvoire and after his death; i
inherited all his business and wealth. my doctors has advised me that i may not
live for more than 2 months, so i now decided to divide the part of this wealth,
to contribute to the development of the church in Africa, America, Asia, and
Europe. i collected your email address during my desperate search on the
internet and i prayed over it.
I decided to donate the sum of $4,500,000.00 usd( Four million five hundred
thousand united states dollars) to the less privileged because i cannot take
this money to the grave. Please i want you to note that this fund is lodged in a
bank in Ivory Coast in West Africa .
Once i hear from you, i will forward to you all the informationâs you will use
to get this fund released from the bank and to be transferred to you. i honestly
pray that this money when transferred to you, will be sure for the said purpose,
because i have come to find out that wealth acquisition without Christ is
vanity. may the grace of our lord Jesus the love of god and the fellowship of
god be with you and your family.
Please contact me in this my private e-mail id email@example.com so that i
will give you all the details
Your beloved sister in Christ.
Mrs Chinello Akaoma