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:
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: josephine sarpong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 08:33:33 +0000
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR SINCERE GODLY ASSISTANCE
I am Miss Josephine Billy Sarpong the only daughter of the family of late Mr Kujo Sarpong from the republic of Ghana in West Africa.I am writing this letter of assistant to you with all due sense of humanity and i sincerely hope that it will meet you in a good mode of life to enable us work together in securing my late father's inheritance.Dear,since the death of my parent and my brother in the fatal accident, my uncle has made life hard,painful and totally miserable for me.He has sized all my father's properties and valuable land documents and now the only thing left is the $9,500,000,00 my father deposited in my name in one of the bank here in Ghana.Even my father's business associates are also after my life because this money.I need your assistant in this issue of trust and honesty by providing foreign account so that the bank will release and transfer the money into your account with out any delay and i will coming over to your country to continue my education which is the promised i made before the grave of my family.I want you to get back to me by indicating your interest to enable me give the full details and information of the bank.Thanks for your assistance.
Josephine Billy Sarpong