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.
Fraud email example:
From: Madam Rosa Kobo <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:09:28 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: How is your family???
How are you and everything happening around you? I am contacting you because I need someone who will help me establish an orphanage, and also run a charity program with my life time savings as I will depart this wicked world due to esophagus cancer.
I want to help the poor kids as much as I can. I am from (Republic of Angola ), widow and have no one around me to trust as they all want to loot my money and never care about my interest. Presently I am at the hospital. The total amount for this project is (US$5,000,000.00) Five Million United States Dollars and 25% of the money will be yours and 75% will be for the project.
We have never met before but after going through your profile I decided to contact you. I wish you are the honest and hardworking type I am looking for. Please get back to me so that I can give you the details.
Madam Rosa Kobo