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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Catherine David James" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Catherine David James" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 02:40:52 +0900 (JST)
Subject: From Mrs.Catherine David James.
>From Mrs.Catherine David James.
How are you and your family, I'm sorry for bagging into your privacy, My name is Mrs. Catherine James the wife of Late Eng. David Peter JamesÂ I'm 53 years old we are from Jordan, I just want to take this opportunity to ask for your favor and also to let you know that I am interested in investing and in handling over a truck box that was deposited in a security company here by my late husband into your care as a family friend since age is not by my side anymore.
We married for 19 years without a child of our own that will inherit it and now am in sick bed in hospital don't no what will happen next as am talking to you now, and that is why i prayed and ask for direction for an honest person with good understanding that i can handle over the truck box into his or Her care and it will be used as am going to instruct as the wish of my Late husband.
Your honest Could be of great help for me, please reply me back with your complete information, such as your full name, phone number and your home address as well a copy of your passport or ID card so I can give you more details regarding this opportunity, I have the sum of Four millionâs Five Hundred ThousandÂ USD in that Truck boxÂ that was deposited in the security Company here in Ivory Coast and naver forget that my late husband declare it to the security company that the contant of the truck box is family valuable and important document's so naver you let them that the content is money for security reason and mind you that it is only you and i know's that the truck box conatin's money and i want that to remain the same as a screat.
I want you to use this money according to the desire of my late Husband, to use it for the help of the Less privileged, orphaned, and use it to propagate the work of God. I want you to know that I took this decision because I don't have any child of my own that will inherit this money, and I don't want this money to be used in an ungodly ways, I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I want you to always remember me in your daily prayers because of my up coming Cancer Surgery. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I have stated herein, Hope to receive your urgent reply.
Mrs Catherine David James.