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:
- "trunk box" (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)
- "million 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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Fleurell Sanchez" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 23:12:09 +0100 (BST)
Subject: PLEASE VERY IMPORTANT.
>From Mrs. Fleurell Sanchez,
PLEASE VERY IMPORTANT.
My name is Mrs.Fleurell Sanchez, The wife of Albert Sanchez who was coordinator of Bayan Muna for Misamis Oriental and Chairman of MOFA. He was gunned down and killed in our home in the Philippine on July 20th, 2008. Before my late husband was killed, I inherited from his estate a total sum of ($ 9.5 Million Dollars) Nine Million five Hundred Thousand Dollars Which was made from the last cocoa business import we made together, this money which my late husband put in a metallic trunk box and deposited it in a security and finance company ABROAD. This deposit was coded under a secret arrangement as a family treasure.
I am contacting you because I want you to help me in retrieve this fund to your account for the future of our children.I hope to trust you as who will not sit on this money when you claim it.i made up my mind to give you 15 % of the total money for your help after the money has been transfer to your account.Hopping to hear from you.
Mrs. Fleurell Sanchez.