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:
- "million us 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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: sarah david <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2012 08:37:54 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Dear Belove One,
Dear Belove One,
I am Mrs sarah david From Republic of Kuwait But i married to late Mr.David Ryan in cote dâIvoire West Africa after our marriage for quite 11 years we couldnt produce any child.and my late husband was an international business man, may his soul rest in peace. Before his death two years ago
i have been suffering from cancer of breast,which have took me so much
money and nothing was done to cure it after all the treatment i have been taking,to my greatest surprise some days ago my doctor told me that i may not live more than two months as the result of the sickness. We deposit the amount of
$7.5million US dollars in one of the International Security Company here in cote dâIvoire West Africa for our business before my late husband died,
and now i decide to use it for the help of the less privilegdes like poor widows,ophans,disables and build churches.as result of my short stay on earth,since we couldnt produce any child to enherit the money as next of king and our properties.Now i was touched in spirit to donate the money to you for the good work of God.
Am looking forward to your prompt reply.
Mrs Sarah David.