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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Katherine Boateng" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 13:15:03 +0000
Subject: YOU CAN DO IT
ATTN: MY BELOVED ONE,
fellow compatriot,I pray, may you never be victim of circumstances or
prisoner of war like myself as you read my problems. Before I decided to
contact you now I have given some people who have my interest and pity
at their heart your contact to contact you for me,did you receive their
message? Reference to esteem recommendation of your trustworthiness,
honesty and transparency of your integrity I received I write to you
I am KATHERINE BOATENG(Mrs) the wife of late Mr FRANK
BOATENG who died in the last DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC) CIVIL
WAR. My husband was a Minister for Foreign Affairs in the government of
out stead late LAURENT KABILA. My husband was given the sum of US$25
million (Twenty-Five million united states of American dollars) to
purchase military arms for the country few days before the Rebels came
to fight.They told my husband to bring out the money but he refused,
they killed him and my elder son who they alleged collaborated with him
to seize the money.
My dear, with the help of Red Cross Society
of DRC ,we carried the money across our national boundary down to my
present place where I and two of my children are now as refugees. I have
since deposited the money in GALLANT TRUST SECURITY Company for safe
keeping as I couldn't meet up with the bank requirements for opening an
account. I write to you to assist me to bring the money over to your
country where we can settle and you direct us to invest the money in a
You will take 20% of the total money for
your help. Please write us a letter of acceptance today with your detail
contact because we are suffering here .
We are thanking you in anticipation for your help.
YOURS SINCERELY, YOU WILL TAKE 20%.
KATHERINE BOATENG (MRS)