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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Christy Walton" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:15:43 +0900
Greetings to you my dear beloved, I am writing you this e-mail not to disturb
you but to ask for your assistant based on my personality and my present
condition in life and in particular what I intend doing for CHARITY.
I am Mrs. Christy Walton a great citizen of United States of America. I bring
to you a proposal which I want you to assist me with. I am worth $ 22.5 billion
Dollars which rated me as the 2nd Richest Woman in the World. But as the
saying goes, money is not everything. It is painful now to let you know that
I have been suffering from a Heart disease for the past 22 years and just few
weeks ago my Doctor told me that I won't survive the illness. And my Will
being with my Lawyer of which my family is aware about, but nobody is aware
of my 40% Bank Worth which is $9,000,000,000 (Nine Billion United State Dollars).
I intend to use the $ 9,000,000,000.00 for CHARITY. It will surprise you to
know that I have not seen anybody from my family since my condition became
God Bless You.
Mrs. Christy Walton