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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Gloria Amon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2013 11:08:48 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Expecting Your Urgent Respond,
Expecting Your Urgent Respond,
My Dear One,
I am glad to know you, but God knows you better and he knows why he has directed me to you at this point in time, I know you will be amazed to read from me, but do not be afraid, Rader to consider this letter as a request from a old woman who is in needy of your assistance. I am Mrs. Gloria Amon Nikoi 85years in age; Iâm the former Ghana Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1979, then in 1979-1981 Minister of Finance. Am contacting you from my country Ghana, meanwhile I am writing this mail to you with heavy sorrow in my heart because I have been suffering for pass good (5 years), For one hospital to another. I want you to get back to me immediately you receive this letter and if you know you are capable and willing to handle the transfer of $18.2 million dollars. I shall send you more information and the procedures when I receive a positive response from you.
Mrs Gloria Amon Nikoi.