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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- ",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)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: FLORENCE ARDY <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: FLORENCE ARDY <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 02:54:55 +0900 (JST)
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP
Hello Very expensive
I wish firstly to apologize for this intrusion into your life even though I admit that this is very important to me. I called Florence Ardy, born March 1, 1950. I suffer from throat cancer for over 5 Â years and then unfortunately, my doctor just informed me that I'm in terminal and my days are numbered because of my health enough gradient. I am a widow and I did not have children just because I'm sterile. In fact, the reason I am contacting you is that I want to donate a portion of my property because I have nobody who could inherit. I almost sold all my things including a company exporting cocoa and pineapple and steel industry in Africa where I lived for over 30 years. A big part of all money raised was paid to various humanitarian associations around the world but especially here in Africa. Regarding the rest of the sum which amounts to exactly â¬ 4,500,000 currently on a Personal Account Locked, my last wish would be to donate them so that you can
invest in your business and especially in the humanitarianism. I am quite aware that I intend to do and I think despite the fact that we do not know, that you will make good use of that sum. I beg you to please accept this legacy but do you nothing in return if not always think to do good around you, that I could not do during my life.
That said, being assured of having fallen on a person responsible and above all good faith, I ask you to please contact me at: (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible to give you more explanation on the reasons for my action and the course of things.
Mrs. Florence Ardy