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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "keep this confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Christy Waltom" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 02:02:14 -0700
Subject: Call for Assistance for my story
Greeting to you my dear Brothers and Sisters the good people of this
planet earth i am writing you this email not to disturb you but to ask for
your assistant based on my personality and my present Health condition
and in particular what I intend doing for CHARITY.
I am Mrs. Christy Walton the 2nd Richest Woman in the world am a great
citizen of United States of America, am bringing to you a proposal which I
want you to assist me with, I Am worth $25.3 billion Dollars which has placed
me as the 2nd Richest Woman in the World.
As the going says Money is not every thing on earth, is painful to let
the world now know my present health condition as a cry for help,I have been
suffering from a Heart disease for the pass 22years,just few weeks ago my
Doctors in America just told me now that it is time for me to die, and my
Will which is with my Lawyer my family is awere of it , but
nobody have knowledge of my deposit in Bank in Europe which is
Worth $38,900,000,000( Thirty Million Nine Hundred Thousand United State Dollars).
I intend to give to CHARITY because I have not seen anybody from my
Family, Relations and Friends whom I can trust that can help me out, because I
always have this DREAM to help CHARITY and i have always promise myself
that I most give this amount at my end time to CHARITY, can i please trust
you to help me give to CHARITY this enormous amount of Money because I
have just 2 Months left to die, as I write to you now am full of Tears as
I await my death.
Please reply me back with your details as underlisted below to enable us proceed further
and please keep this confidential.
God Bless You.
Mrs. Christy Walton