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:
- ",000,000" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ibrahim" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 6 May 2012 05:06:23 -0400
Subject: Charity Work
Life is gradually passing away from me as a result of my present medical condition and my personal doctor confided in me yesterday that I have only but few more days to live. In view of this setback, i wantto donate my estate for humanitarian assistance, since this has always been the plan of my late husband and besides i have no child.
In an effort to compliment the good work of God almighty and the wish of my late Husband I donate the sum of ?2,000,000.00 (Two Million Great Britain Pounds) to you. On your
acknowledgment of this mail and informing me of your nationality and current place of resident, my lawyer will facilitate due processes for transfer of this legacy to you. May God bless you as you use this money judiciously for the work of charity.
Name:Mrs Suraya Ibrahim