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 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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev. John Timothy" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2013 11:25:53 +1000
Subject: Christ The King Roman Catholic Church (ckrcc). *** Sir/Madam
Christ The King Roman Catholic Church (ckrcc).
#78 Queens Drive, Liverpool,
Merseyside L15 6YQ London England.
Official church website: www.ctkandol.org
From Rev. Father John Timothy.
I am Father Reverend John Timothy a citizen of Milan in Italy. I got your email in my international Directory, am 42 years old and God fearing person in the Lord, but due to my faithful Work in God. I was invited to a Conference in Europe (England London) for (Roman Catholic Conference Seminar 2013) for 4 months. This programme was sponsored and organized by Roman Catholic Churches all over the world to help the MOTHERLESS BABIES HOMES, LESS PRIVILEGE and ORPHANAGE HOME CENTER.
The total Sum of ($50 Million Dollars) was map out from Roman Catholic Churches world wide to share amongst the Roman Churches in your country for Humanitarian work of God, But since we are unable to contact some Roman Catholic Churches through E-mail and Telephones or Official church addresses, We decided to publish this Letter in the (Internet) to other (Private Individuals, Churches, Company, Office's and Organization) Etc. Who is Capable, Trust worthy and God fearing person who can Help to receive the Fund to help the MOTHERLESS BABIES HOMES in your Country/Region.
After Due consultation meeting with the Roman Catholic Council of priest in ROME in VATICAN CITY your country have been approve to receive the sum ($5.5 Million Dollars) Five Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars Only in the Number cash File of (RCCSS:929/11-2013) of your country. And every necessary arrangement have been made regarding on how to Transfer this money to you as REPRESENTATIVE of your Country. Please don't ignore this "WORK OF GOD" because of your Religion or Believe, Because we are all serving the same Almighty God.
As soon as i received your reply, i will direct you to the next step of receiving this fund into your bank account as a Representative of your country. Kindly reply to my private e-mail address for more information: email@example.com
Rev. Father John Timothy
(Roman Catholic Conference Seminar 2013).