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 united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss Grace Mitchel." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Miss Grace Mitchel." <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 17:39:22 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Important Message for you,
Â Hello Dear,
Sorry if i have intruded into your privacy, life and death forced me to send you this urgent massage.
I am from the family of Jean claude Mitchel, my father is the head of cocoa industry whom Laurent Gbagbo used to finance his activities to preserved his grip on power but unfortunately things turn upside down when our house was attacked and burn in city of Duekoue
There i lost my entire family, mother and two brothers, one week after i found my father in the hospital but before his death, he inform me about his secured sum of US$15,500.000 (Fifteen Million five hundred thousand united state dollars and i was warned to look for a foreign partner and leave the country for my future live.
I am sincerely desire of your assistance if you can be trustworthy to secure the legacy process on my behalf, you can also reach me through this my email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Miss Grace Mitchel.