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:
- "million united state 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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Reply Waiting <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Reply Waiting <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 03:43:40 +0900 (JST)
Greetings in the
precious name of lord. My name is Virginia Gapuz a nationality of
Philippines. I am married to Late Dr. Joseph Gapuz, a business man/
member of the movement for national freedom before his death as a result
of plane crash on his bussiness trip to Japan. Though I have not
considered this medium to be the best manner to have approached you on
this issue being that the Internet has been greatly abused over the
recent years and is very unsecured for information's of vital
I have decided to take the chance seeing that no
other means could have been faster and more efficient than the E-mail as
my health condition is deteriorating by the day as a cancer patients I
have five million united state dollars I want you to handle for me in
God,s glory. So Get back for more Info.
Thanks God bless you
Mrs Virginia Gapuz