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:
- "hundred thousand us 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 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Robert Sandra <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Robert Sandra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 08:36:12 +0000 (UTC)
Good day, My Name is Sandra Robert the only survived child of Late Mr. Robert, who was murdered alongside with my mother and my only brother last year. I am presently in a church guest home because of wickedness of uncle's and relatives. Before his death he had a domiciliary with a bank here in Accra- Ghana, up to the tune of (Five Million Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars). Please I need your assistance to get this money transferred to you for my education, investment and to be my guardian before my uncles will get hold of me and the money. I shall forward to you with the necessary documents on confirmation of your acceptance to assist me for the transfer of the money to you,I am willing to offer you reasonable percentage from the total money as compensation for your effort. May God touch your heart and use you to bring back happiness and joy in my life. Hope to hear from you shortly.Kindly reply me here: email@example.com
Yours, Sandra Robert.