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:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: JANICE BUTLER <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 May 2013 19:36:59 +0100
Subject: GREETINGS OF PEACE FROM MRS--JANICE BUTLER
My name is Mrs.Janice Butler. I am a sick and dying woman who has decided to donate what I have to you for the work of God and the charity organization around your community.
I am 62 years old and I was diagnosed for cancer for about 2 years ago immediately after the death of my husband who has left me everything he worked for and because the doctors told me I will not live longer than some weeks because of my health,I decided to WILL/donate the sum of $7.5m to you since I don't have a child for Charity and for the work of God.
You should contact me immediately you receive this mail so that I will put you in contact with the establishment to enable you arrange with them on how to get the money for the purpose mentioned above. I can't predict what will be my fate by the time you will receive the fund, But you should please ensure that the fund is used as l have described above. Please reply me as soon as possible.