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:
- "million us 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.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Smith Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 15:57:59 +0100 (BST)
Subject: I will be eternally grateful!
This is confidential and I must not in any way go into full details about what brought us together in the past, but I want to use this opportunity to thank you for your Kind assistance when you participated and assisted me to move and claim funds through a business proposal I sent to you some time ago. I contacted you via the internet about some certain money which I wanted youto assist me claim.Â
I am so sorry also that after you have endured with me and spent a lot of money to make this deal successful, I misled you in the last minute and then I used someone else to divert the funds. I am also sorry because I decided to change the account details and I used another account to claim this money without your knowledge. I am also sorry for the difficulties and frustrations you have been facing sending money to different people toassist you get your claims without success. I am sorry I did not give toyou your 30% share as agreed even when I concluded the business successfully without your knowledge.
I am now based some where in the Pacific's enjoying my new found status as a wealthy millionaire and then suddenly I remembered that I may have wrecked your life financially. Recently I started having spiritual troubles and I wake up at night screaming after some people in my dream attempted to kill me, this has happened many times and now a Psychic told me that someone I cheated in a Business long time ago is facing financial difficulties as a result of what I did to him financial and until I compensate you, the end will be near for me.Â
I FEAR this bad faith be falling me for the miseries I have caused to your life.I have decided to compensate you with the sum of $7 Million us dollars so that I may have my peace. And I have instructed my secretary Mr. Issa Sama Mohammed to assist you and to make sure that the bank will transfer this $7 Million us dollars to you contact now Mr. Issa Sama Mohammed and he must proceed to the Bank for the process of the transfer to you and PLEASE FORGIVE ME.
Kindle contact my secretary based in Burkina Faso because I have given Mr. Issa Sama Mohammed instructions to work with the bank on behalf of you as soon as possible.I thank you so much for all your help in the past. You can contact my secretary Mr. Issa Sama Mohammed to receive your money $7 million us dollars soonest.Forward your full dataâs to below address,
Name: Mr. Issa Sama MohammedEmail Address: Â email@example.com
Tell Mr. Issa Sama Mohammed that you are contacting he under the instruction from Code of Mr. Smith Williams as I said send your receiver details and informed to Mr. Issa Sama Mohammed through above address to enable the transfer quickly as possible. On behalf of myself and my family I thank you so much for your great help in the past and I visualize a happy life for you too as soon as this compensation is released to you and then you forgive me all my mistakes towards you. I will be eternally grateful!
RegardsMr. Smith WilliamsÂ Pacific Island