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:
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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)
- my lawyer with this specified email contact: email: email@example.com name: barrister: john maloney inform him that i have (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Amina Abdulaziz" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:02:52 +0100
Subject: Can I trust You.
Peace of the lord be with you.
With heavy tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart, I decided to contact you for assistance and distribution of my inheritance after going through your profile.
My name is Amina Abdulaziz,a dying woman who have been exposed to a violent incident of a bomb blast that affected my hearing ability and damage to my brain which the Doctor has told me will stop full functioning very soon and also been diagnosed for cancer. I have requested for (euthanasia) the act or practice of ending the life of myself which was also declined.
I was married to my late husband for 14 years without a child; he was a philanthropist and senior Syria Army officer. He defected and join the Syria Revolutionary and Opposition Forces to fight president Bachar el-Assad because of the brutal murder of Syria people by his government. As a result of his defection He was arrested because he joined the opposition army and later killed by president Bachar el-Assad.
Before his death by president Bachar el-Assad, he has deposited Five million five Hundred thousand US Dollars in the Netherlands with a notary to oversee this funds in case anything happens to him. Due to my health conditions, I will need you to act on my behalf to receive this funds if you wish to as our legitimate beneficiary with the documents covering the deposit of the funds which I will send your upon your acceptance
I have been touched by God to donate from what i have inherited from my late husband for the good work of God, rather than allow my relatives to use my husband hard-earned funds ungodly.
I will be going in for an operation couple of hours from now, and I have decided to WILL/donate the sum of $5,500,000 to you for the good work of the lord, and to help the motherless and less privilege and for the assistance of the widows. Please assure me that you will act on humanitarian motives.
Contact my lawyer with this specified email contact:
Name: Barrister: John Maloney
Inform him that i have WILLED ($5,500,000.00) to you and i have notified him that i am WILLING that amount to you for a specific and good work. I know i do not know you but i have been directed to do this by my instinct.
Amina Abdulaziz (Mrs.) firstname.lastname@example.org
My Lawyer Contact Email Address:email@example.com