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:
- "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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Charity Purpose" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 08:20:41 +0200
Subject: My Charity Funds
Given my current state of health,I have decided to donate what I inherited from
my late husband to enable you help the poor and needy. I am Mrs Tranko Wall
I was diagnosed for cancer about 2 years ago and I have few months to live
according to medical experts.I want you to Distribute my funds
($US 10,300,000.00 million) to charities.I want you to help me dispatch the
70% deposit I have with a finance/Security Company abroad to the motherless,
lessprivileged and widows I have set aside 30% for you.i will tell you more
about this transaction upon your reply to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Send below information for contact
1. Your full name:
2. Your contact cell phone number:
3. Your age:
4. Your sex:
5. Your occupations
6. Your country and city:
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Ms Tranko Wall