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:
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 12:02:22 +0100 (BST)
I know you will be surprised to read my email. I got your contact from your Email domain, apart from being surprise you may be skeptical to reply me based on what is happening on the internet world, one has to be very careful because a lot of scammers are out there to scam innocent citizens.
If you are willing to show me your honesty and trust, I think I will be able to trust and work with you.
My name is Fleurelle Sanchez I am currently living in London receiving due medical treatment for my health. However I am of French origin. In fact I contacted you to help me achieve my goals against humanity; I Was mechanical engineer director and doing coco business During the regime of Former President of Cote dâivoire.
I am suffering from cancer of the heart and my Medical Doctors has declared that I have only a month time to stay on earth having been diagnosed by cancer. I wish to ensure that you receive the funds before I die.
Before the upheaval of the dethrone of President Laurent Laurent gbagbo, I made a deposited 8.5 Million USD (Eight Million Five hundred thousand United States Dollar) in a bank in West Africa cote d'ivoire where I was working as a mechanical engineer and coco business because I have no child and and husband. So I decide that I will donate money to help in projects which will make a huge impact in helping the orphans, widows, and widowers.
I am hereby seeking your urgent assistance to get the funds to your account as the beneficiary of the funds.
In the agreement I signed with the bank where I deposited the money was that the money can only be transferred/released to any foreign partner of mine whom I will present as the beneficiary of the money for charity project because I was one them.
Hoping to hear from you soonest with your below requested information that I will submit to the bank.
1) Real Names
2) Phone/Fax numbers
4) Residence address.
5) Bank account information