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)
- "00,000.00" (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: "Sister James"<email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 16:26:44 -0300
Subject: LATE REV.FATHER MICHAEL MOBLEY.
I' M REVEREND SISTER ELIZABETH JAMES FROM OUR LADY OF MERCY CATHOLIC CHURCH MADRID SPAIN
IN EUROPE,IT'S VERY PATHETIC THAT WE LOST REV.FATHER MICHAEL MOBLEY OF OUR LADY OF MERCY
CHURCH MADRID SPAIN.LATE REV.FATHER MICHAEL MOBLEY IS AN AMERICAN AND ALSO AN ORPHAN BUT
NATIONALIZED IN OUR LADY OF MERCY MADRID SPAIN.
LATE REV.FATHER MICHAEL MOBLEY DIED ON 5TH MARCH 2011 AND BEFORE HE DIED,HE MADE A
WILL.I' M GLAD TO INFORM YOU THAT LATE REV.FATHER MICHAEL MOBLEY MADE YOU THE
BENEFICIARY OF HIS WILL A SUM OF $1,500,000.00 THROUGH YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS.
YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING HOW LATE REV.FATHER MICHAEL MOBLEY MADE YOU THE BENEFICIARY OF
HIS WILL.LATE REV.FATHER MICHAEL MOBLEY MADE A RANDOM SAMPLING OF MANY PEOPLE"S E-MAIL
ADDRESSES BY THE HELP OF MICROSOFT INTERNATIONAL FIRM AND AMONG THE PEOPLE E-MAIL
ADDRESSES,YOURS CAME OUT AS A DRAW AND THIS IS HOW LATE REV.FATHER MICHAEL MOBLEY MADE
YOU THE BENEFICIARY OF HIS WILL.
FORWARD THE DETAILS BELOW TO ME SO THAT I CAN FORWARD IT TO THE LA CAIXA BANK SPAIN FOR
THE RELEASE OF YOUR FUNDS BECAUSE THE DEPOSIT DOCUMENT IS WITH ME HERE AND THE BANK HAS
ASK OF YOU.
5,PRIVATE PHONE NUMBER.
I AWAIT TO HEAR FROM YOU TODAY.
BEST REGARDS & GOD BLESS YOU.
SISTER ELIZABETH JAMES