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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss. Pamela" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2005 20:48:04 -0700
Subject: Re: Can I trust you?
My name is Miss. Pamela H Swan I am a dying woman who had decided to donate what I have to a reliable individual who will act as I will instruct here. I am 63 years old and was diagnosed for cancer about two years ago. I have been touched by God to donate from what I have inherited from my late parents to you for the good work of God, rather than allow my uncle to use my fathers hard earned funds ungodly.
I will be undergoing an surgery in London, and I pray that I survive the operation because from the doctors analysis, my chance for survival is very slim. I have decided to WILL the sum of $17,250,000.00USD (Seventeen Million Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars Only) deposited in a secured bank in West Africa, to you for the good work of the lord, these fund should be used to help the orphans, the needy and the less privilege.
Presently, I have informed my Doctor, Dr. John Kelvin's, my account officer, Mrs. Patricia Botin and my lawyer about my decision to WILL AND TRANSFER THE INHERITANCE OF THIS FUND to a reliable individual, you are to get back to me immediately if you are interested in carrying out this task, so that I will instruct you on how to get in contact with my doctor, MY LAWYER and my account officer.
Lastly, I know I have never meet you, but in other to fulfill this which borders me most, I got your email address through my personal search on the Internet for the right person and it was the spirit of God that directed me to chose you among many contacts I was having, my mind tells me to inform you about this, and I hope you act sincerely, please get back to me immediately.
God bless you.