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:
- "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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Elizabeth Walker <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Elizabeth Walker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 17:13:59 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Hello.Peace be unto you
Hello.Peace be unto you
How are you? I am Mrs.Elizabeth Walker an aging widow suffering from blood cancer,i am now confined to a nursing home. I have some inherited fund from my late loving husband late Mr. Michael Walker , The amount of [$5.200,000.00] five millions two hundred thousand dollars which he deposited with Bank and I need a good honest God fearing person who will use these funds for God's work in charity. I want this fund to go for charity work because I have no child to inherit the fund, 15% out of the total fund will be for your compensation for doing this work of God. Please if you would be willing to carry out the project to the glory of God kindly reply to me.for more information thanks and God bless you.