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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "i got your email address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev. Mother Maryann Daniels" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2013 18:16:49 +0700
Subject: Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ !
In the mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ you are anointed and blessed. Walk in the path of righteousness and goodness and mercy shall forever follow you all the days of your life. May the peace of the Lord be with you.
My name is Rev. Mother Maryann Daniels; I am 79 years old now. I have been suffering on the sick bed for the past 5 years.
Now I believe that my time has come to join my ancestors in heaven. Through divine revelation, I got your email address from the Internet, as the spirit of Almighty God directed me to contact you for this charitable work.
I have $10,500,000.00 deposited in a safe location which I want you to claim on my behalf for important charitable projects. I choose to hand over this money to you for this charitable works which l know you have the desire for people in need. The money was as a result of philanthropic donations made to me a couple of years back. I hope you will honestly do this for me, if yes please forward to me your particulars and your contact information like private phone and fax numbers so that I will send it to the Finance institution for release immediately.
Finally, I will like to know what you do for a living so that I can be able to know if your work shall allow you to handle this project that I am committing into your hand to the glory of the Almighty God. Get back to me as soon as possible.
Thank you and Remain blessed in the Lord.
With Paternal Love in the Lord,
Rev. Mother Maryann Daniels.