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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Gera Levin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:46:11 +0000
Subject: Good day
how are you am Mrs Gera Levin From isreal am suffering from
cancerous ailment after the death of my husband.now am in
hospital the doctor said i will not be alive till 6 mounths
so i have decided to donate this money to you as i have no
child and nobody to be by my side.the money was deposited
with a security and finance firm abroad now i have decided
to make the donation to you.the amount is $8.5million.i
will need you to send me your details such as your direct
phone and address and your identity,after you make the
claim i will like you to use part of the money for the
church and orphange home
Mrs Gera Levin