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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "judy Williams" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2012 15:24:53 -0700
Subject: Mrs Judith Williams
From: Mrs Judith Williams.
My name is Mrs Judith Williams am 75yrs old of age, i stay in new york
city, USA.I am a good merchant, I have several industrial companies
and good share in various banks in the world.I spend all my life on investment and coporate business. all the way i lost my husband and two beautiful kids in fatal accident that occur in November 5th 2003.
I am a very greedy woman with all cost i dont know much and care about people, since when I have an experience of my it difficult to sleep and give rest. later in the year 2004 Febuary i was sent a letter of medical check up, as my personal Doctor testify that i have a lung cancer, which can easily take off my life soon.I found it uneasy to survive myself, because a lot of investment cannot be run and manage by me again. I quickly call up a pastor/prophet to give me positive thinking on this solution, as my adviser.He minister to me to share my properties ,wealth, to motherless baby/orphanage homes/people that need money for survivor both student that need money/ business woman and man for their investment and for future rising. So i am writing this letter to people who really need help from me both student in college, to contact me urgently. so that i can make available preparation on that.especially women of the day, who are divorced by their husband, why they cannot survive the mist of feeding theirself.
please contact me and stop weeping. probably let me now what you
really need the money for, and if you can still help me to distribute
money to nearest orhanages homes near your town. now am so much with
God, am now born again. May you be blessed, as you reach me,please to
remind you, dont belong to scammers or any act of fraudlent on
internet. I will give more information to you as i await your response immediately.
Respond to me throught this email address: email@example.com
Mrs Judith Williams