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. )
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "await your urgent response" (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: Maggrish Moor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Maggrish Moor <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:09:37 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Miss. Maggry Moore
Â My most appreciated,
I am Miss. Maggry Moore, an orphaned 19-year-Ivory Coast, I'm looking for urgent help to help me get my bottom of the legacy I inherited from my late father who was killed last month by rebels during the political crisis here in my country Ivory Coast. The deposit is the sum of Four Million Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($ 4.200.000.00) compiled in a metal box, and was pinned to a security company by my late father with my name as the next of kin before he died,
I want you help me claim the money box to your country for me to come to your country to continue my education. Since I have abandoned my studies after the rebels captured the city and began rapping girls and looting property. I'm isolated in a remote village due to security of my life, and I'm still a virgin I await your urgent response God bless you
Miss. Maggry Moore