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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Roselina Mohammed" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2012 20:56:30 -0500
Subject: Unique and of Immense Benefit
It is my sincere pleasure at this moment to exhibit my total trust bestowed on you in accordance to my Proposal to you of which I am fully convinced that you will really be of immense assistance to my present predicament as my beneficiary. Well, i hope my proposal to you will be given proper attention despite the fact we have not known or met each other before. My name is Mrs. Roselina Mohammed from Malaysia presently residing in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Anyway, I am contacting you in respect to making the claim of my late husband's fund worth US$8.5Million deposited with diplomatic company here in Malaysia for security purposes. But right now my husband is dead and the security company has been giving me several notifications to make the claim of the said fund before it is being declared unserviceable by the beneficiary which may result to confiscation of the fund .
I want a situation whereby you assist me to make the claim of this fund from the security company so that it will be transferred to your custody pending my arrival to your country for us to use it judiciously for investment purposes.I will be offering you 30% of the fund for your foreign assistance as long as you can help me out in carrying out this project effectively without being greedy and selfish. I am contacting you in this respect for the following purposes, 1, My financial incapability of making the claim at the moment. 2, I would like to invest the fund in a foreign country with a reliable and trustworthy
partner.Make sure you keep this transaction as your top secret and make it confidential until we receive the fund into your custody as my beneficiary. Don't disclose it to any body, because the secrecy of this transaction is as well as the success of it. I hope to hear from you regarding my proposal.
Mrs. Roselina Mohammed