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 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:
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 22:08:14 +0100
Subject: EXCLUSIVELY FOR YOU.
EXCLUSIVELY FOR YOU.
I am Mrs Azizah Humaru Alihu 64 years old from Qatar,i am suffering from long time cancer of the lungs and my condition is really deteriorating,my Husband and our only Son was assassinated in cold blood by his business associate on the 15th of February 2013.Please i am searching for capable,reliable and trustworthy individual from your Country to assist me handle Charity project worth of ($6 Million US Dollars) for the development of Orphanage homes and less privileged in your Country and please note that 35% of the funds shall be rewarded to you for your mutual trust.
Mrs Azizah Humaru Alihu