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:
- ",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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Sonia gilbert <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Sonia gilbert <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 08:32:21 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Hello dear,
It's my pleasure to contact you for an urgent assistance in saving my life from the dangerous political upraising in my country and to execute an immediate transfer of ($4.5 Million USD) left for me in a bank by my late father before his sudden death. In details, i am the only child to my late parents, late Mr.and Mrs.Edward Gilbert from the republic of Ivory Coast. My father was a cocoa merchant dealer in Ivory Coast but unfortunately died from political crisis past years, actually he left behind the sum of ($4,500,000.00 US dollars) in a bank with my name as his only child before his death.
Now, i am staying in a local guest-house hotel out side the city for security reason and for the safety of my life since after the death of my father hence my life is in danger too from the political opponents group that is why I seek for a help for relocation and to secure this money for investment in your
country for my future use. if you can be of assistance to me, I will be pleased to offer you 15% of this total fund (indicated above).
Thanks for your kind attention, please kindly get back to me in complete confidence for further clarification/details of proceeding. Your urgent reply will be highly appreciated and more details will be giving to you as soon as you reply to show your interest for helping me.
I hope to hear from you soon.