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:
- "dearest one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms E Anna Grant" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 14:21:11 +0300
Subject: From Ms E Anna Grant
I am Ms E. Anna Grant, my mum is from Indonesia, while my late father migrated from Melbourne, Australia, but reside in Ghana where he has worked as a gold miner and exporter. My mother has suffered from stroke as a result of shock of my late father who died last year 2012 during the deadly earthquake which hit Indonesia in island of Sumatra. Before my mother passes away, she informed me of our credit bond and Gold kept in a bank here in Accra-Ghana.
I want you to do me a favor to receive these funds and Gold in a safe account in your country as my foreign guardianship to avoid Ghana government to take them back according to their property law and I am a foreigner and my parents are late also our co-workers are plotting against me to inherit everything.
I have plans to continue my Education and to investment in your country, in areas like real estate and industrial production where the money can be growing.
Please contact me urgently for further vital details via email. See attached for my identification photo of my person.
May the Lord bless you
Ms Anna Grant