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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million pounds" (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)
- "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 "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Vanessa Khalid." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 12:30:07 +0200
Subject: I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE
Do kindly allow me crave your indulgence in introducing myself to you, I go by the name Mrs. Vanessa Khalid a British Citizen, I''m a 59 years old widow diagnosed of cancer.
I was lawfully married to Late Engineer Osman Khalid, who naturally died after a brief illness, Our life together as Husband and wife lasted for thirty years without a child and due to our helpless state of childlessness, I decided to adopt little Elizabeth and Diana some years
ago after the death of my husband because I actually needed some one around to show motherly love and care, they will both clock 5 and 7 this year and are doing pretty well in their studies because I have made them a Trust-Fund that will be more than enough to see them through in school and thus secure them a very bright future. I feel so fulfilled each time they both call me "mum", how nice...
In anticipation of this tragic and quite unfortunate reality that has befallen a widow like myself with weeks to live due to the Cancer, I have decided to make a selfless donation of the entire funds derived from my
late husbands vast estates and investments in capital market to you and I want you to use this gift of Good-Will which comes from my husbands effort to fund the upkeep of widows, widowers, orphans, destitute, the
down-trodden, physically challenged children, barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially.
My Account officer at the Bank recently estimated the funds to have reached an approximated sum of twelve million Great British Pounds (£12,000,000.00).
You are to immediately get back across to me for further details to receive the Twelve Million Pounds (£12,000,000.00).
Mrs. Vanessa Khalid.