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)
- "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: Mary Kalo <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 06:52:49 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Good day
I hope all is well over there in your country If so, thanks to God almighty, My name is Miss.Wady Simone Otie, I am single Age 23 ft 5/6 wt 59, an Ex Communication Student, I am a single girl never been married before, my father of blessed memory by name Late Dr Simon Oti muka who was the Group Executive Director of Finance with CNPC oil company at the Khartoum refinery in Sudan, He was assassinated along side with my beloved mother and my only brother, Our family house was burnt down by the rebels during the last crisis in my country when Janjaweed militants came to our house and this sent me away to other country as i made my escape only by God's special grace and with the help of Catholic missionaries because i was in the boarding house when this incident took place.
Actually in search of an honest and reliable person who will help me to relocate, for a better life, i have chosen to contact you after my prayers Though you may wonder why I am so soon giving in to you without seeing you, well I will say that my instinct still tells that you could be true to me. Briefly, I will like to disclose much to you if you will help me to relocate to your country with the substance that i inherited from my parent. I have a substantial amount of $4.3 Million (Four Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) which i will like to invest in your country into any lucrative business venture which you are to advise and execute seeing that i have no business experience for now.
However, I shall forward you with the necessary documents on confirmation of your acceptance to assist me for the transfer and investment of the fund. As you will help me in the investment, and i will like to complete my studies, as i was in my 1st year in the university, when the crisis started This is the reason why I decided to contact you, I shall appreciate an urgent message indicating your ability and willingness to handle this friendship and transaction sincerely,
In my next mail i will tell you more about this money and the leading financial institution which the money was deposited . My dear, i have never told any person about the existence of this money and i will like you to keep it secret because i am afraid of loosing the money and my life . I humbly waiting for your mail with your picture ( s ) . Kisses and hugs to you .
Thanks and God bless. Take Caress,