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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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:
From: Mrs Lucita Gumma <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mrs Lucita Gumma <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 02:46:52 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Please Reply!!
Dear Respected Friend,
Due Respect and Humanity, I was compelled to write to you under a
humanitarian ground, however, this is not mandatory nor will I in any
manner compel you to honor against your will. I am Mrs. Lucita Gumma, 59
years old with my only son, Master Anthony Gumma, 19years old. Please I
am contacting you to let you know my desire to establish a charity
foundation in your country with this sum of US$3.5Million (Three Million
five hundred thousand United States dollars) which I inherited from my
late husband (Dr.Thomas Gumma) It is my desire to invest the funds in
your country and distributed each year among the charity organizations,
motherless baby's home, mosques, churches, Schools, supporting destitute
aged men and women or whatever you may have in mind that will be to the
benefit of the less fortunate. Also use part of this money to take care
of my only son, Master Anthony Gumma.
I took this decision
because I was raised from a motherless baby's home and Presently, I'm
hospitalized where I am undergoing treatment for my upcoming breast
cancer surgery operation. Please reply as soon as possible, confirming
your acceptance to this proposition so that I will give you all the
relevant information that will authorize the release and transfer of the
fund to you as my duly assigned representative. Thank you in advance
for your Consideration and I look forward hearing from you shortly.
Mrs. Lucita Gumma