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:
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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 "dying widow" scam.
- 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. Maribia Jane Kulibal" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:38:32 +0100
Subject: From: Mrs. Maribia Jane Kulibal
From: Mrs. Maribia Jane Kulibal
I am the above named person. I am married to Mr. Eugene Kulibal who before his death was a wealthy cocoa Merchant here in Cote d’Ivoire. We were married for 26 years without a child. Before the death of my husband we were both born again Christians.
My Husband left the sum of US$3.200 million United States Dollars in a fix/suspense account in one of the prime bank here in Cote d’Ivoire. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not exceed more than five more months due to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my blood pressure sickness. Having known my condition I decided to seek for your kind assistance to transfer this fund into your account and you will use it to train my adopted daughter who is 16yrs. You will take her as your God child and brought her up in a good and decent manner with what my late husband left behind.
I took this decision to contact you because of my condition and for the facts that my husband relatives wants to size everything and throw my adopted daughter out of the inheritance. So I want to use this little time I have to achieve this arm before joining my ancestors.
Please indicate your interest and willingness in this transaction by writing back to me .I want your maximum cooperation and keep this as confidential for security reasons. I am sincerely waiting for your kind and urgent response as soon as you receive this mail.Please indicate your interest by responding swiftly to this mail through.... email@example.com
Thanks and God bless you.
Mrs. Maribia Jane Kulibal