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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million us 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: "stellamakasins" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 08 Aug 2013 01:25:09 +0200
My dear in Christ Jesus,
My name is Mrs.Stella Makasin from Texas USA. I lived in Africa for
many years and now currently hospitalized in a private hospital here
in Texas as a result of brain cancer. My purpose of writing you is
because I was led by the spirit of God to offer you the money that I
have in my private account in Africa now that is clear that Im
approaching the last days of my life. Im 86 year old and may not
even need the money again for any thing. Im offering you the sum of
$2.5 million us dollars as a donation for the work of God and
charity.May the good Lord bless you for the work you are doing already
and may he give you wisdom to continue it .When I hear from you, I
will direct you on how to receive the money.Please pray that God will
accept my soul even if I die today.