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:
- ",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 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: David Paul <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2012 14:09:35 +0100 (BST)
Subject: MY REASON OF CONTACTING YOU
May I call for your attention to hear my life time experience? Clara David is my name.
I was born into a family of three. Two girls and a boy. My family had a motor accident returning from the village and their death got me into an early married at the age of twenty-two. I was married to the son of chief Fred Kwame a very worthy business man. He export cocoa and coffee beans. His late son was my lovely and caring husband. He was the man of my heart, in fact he was the dream of every woman. He was a medical doctor by a profession. We were married for forty-eight months before his untimely death. His death was a shock to everybody and also looks suspicious and mysterious. He died after he came back from work, had his bath, ate and had small talk with me as usual then he went to bed to sleep. Around twelve midnight on that faithful day, he started to complain of stomach ache and was rushed to the hospital only to start vomiting blood. He was then asked what he had taken earlier and he said he only ate roasted fish from his step brothers place
before coming home. But before he could be questioned further, he died.
Since the death of my late husband, the family member's never want to set their eye's on me anywhere. I was accused of my late husbands' death while his step brother was the one who poisoned him to death because he was jealous that their father so much confined in my late husband as his first son, and my late husband's step brother is pretending as if he never knew the cause of my late husband death. And they went ahead calling me all sort of names, telling me that I am not a member of the family because I have no child with their late son. The worse part of it was they threaten to kill me and also asked me never to step foot in their family again, that I am not a member of their family. A week after my late husbands' funeral, his family members batched into my maternal home and before I could say a word, my mother in-law asked me to leave the house and asked why only to be slapped and pushed by my mother in-law. I fell down on the stair's and I started
bleeding. My house help took me to hospital.The worse part of it is I lost my two month pregnancy I've celebrated with my late husband a week before his untimely death, I tried to involve the police and the police officer advice me to keep off from that family that the way she see them they are up to something else. She further said am still a very young lady that is better I lived to testify this days for the glory of God than to die. As am writing this mail to you my life is in Danger. Am hiding from one place to another.
Before my husband died in the hospital he called me and told me if i go back to the house I should look into his wardrobe and that I will find a file with his name on top. And I should keep that because the file contains some deposit receipts Which he used to deposit a sum of $9,000,000.00 in a bank in Accra, Ghana. His intentions was to start an investment with it. My late husband further told me to handle and invest this money wisely for the pregnancy in case anything happen to me. He also said that he could have told me about this money all these time but he was waiting for the appropriate time. He also said even if he died he will always be with me.
My Dear, the main reason why I contacted you is that I have decide to transfer this money to your care, for you to assist me in getting this money protected and helping me to come to your country and providing me a trustworthy account in your country where this money will be transferred into and promising me to invest it in a very progressive business you know in your country and also manage it for me for a certain period of time which will be agreed by both of us. THIS IS THE MAIN REASON WHY I CONTACTED YOU, PLEASE IT IS VERY URGENT.
please email me back on: email@example.com