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:
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss.Vera Milla" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:49:06 GMT
Subject: Hello Dearest
How are you today, Please i am sorry if i may have interrupted you in anyway by my email, and I have a special reason why I decided to contact you because of the urgency of my situation here.
Please I write not only to introduce myself to you, but also tender a joint investment business proposal for your considerations and acceptance. I know that receipt of my communication shall be a great surprise to you considering the fact that we did not know each other or had any business negotiations before now,
I deem it necessary to introduce myself in detail for you and the need for your assistance to claim and invest my inheritance for me, I am Miss. Vera Milla, 23years old girl from Liberia, the 1st and only child of late former Co-operatives and Rural Development Minister, Mr. Jimmy Lemi Milla, who died on August 2010 at the charles county memorial hospital maryland.
I am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment I, am receiving from my step mother. She planned to take away all my late father's treasury and properties from me since the unexpected death of my beloved Father.
Meanwhile I wanted to escape to the Europe but they hide away my international passport and other valuable traveling documents. Luckily they did not discover where I kept my Father's File which contains important documents. So I decided to run to the refugee camp here in Ouagadougou Republic of Burkina Faso. I wish to contact you personally for a long term business relationship and investment assistance in your country.
My father secretly deposited the sum of US$5,500, 000.00 in one of the prime bank with my name as the next of kin. However, I shall forward you with the necessary information of the deposit on confirmation of your acceptance to assist me for the transfer and investment of the fund in your country. As you will also help me in an investment, and I will like to complete my studies, as I was in the school in Liberia, before the death of my father.
It is my intention to compensate you with 30% of the total money for your services and the balance shall be my investment capital. This is the reason why I decided to contact you. Please reply me on my E-mail address for more details if only you are ready to help me.
I am staying at the female hostel 0037. Please do keep this only to your self please I advice you not to disclose it to a third party till I come over, once the fund has been transferred into your account. I hope my explanation is very clear. I will try to scan my picture to send in my next mail.
Thanks as I hope to receive from you soon.
Miss. Vera Milla.