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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Donation Offer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2013 16:12:40 +0100 (BST)
Subject: From Dave's Wife Julie writing from the hospital
>From Dave's Wife Julie writing from the hospital
This is Dave's wife, Julie. I am writing this message to you today because my husband Dave passed away. My late husband was diagnosed with heart attack just before he was admitted to the hospital. He did begin treatment, but suffered a blood clot and heart attack after his first treatment. After all, he died on the same sickness. As a fellow faithful person like you it is my desire and enthusiasm to donate an amount of money he told about for the less privilege as he instructed me when he was at the point of death. I have no other option than to use this amount $22 million to help those that is in need, so I would like you to think over this huge privilege that I am entrusting to your hand for the survival of the casualties and homeless. Just send me your full names, home address, telephone number, occupation and more information about you like photograph in your next message so that I will submit to the bank for official introduction for them to
establish communication with you and transfer the money into your account. Finally, I know you join me in my sorrow and ask God to accept him in his kingdom. Kindly reply immediately together with your complete information.
Best regards from Julie Dave