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:
- ",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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: guessan sandra <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:48:29 +0000
Subject: From Mrs. Sandra.
>From Mrs. Sandra.
I am touched by God to hand you over this money considering my last wish, and you should also know that my contact to you is by special grace of God, please understand that you are not helping me rather you are working for God the creator of heaven and earth.
An aging widow suffering from long time illness. i am currently admitted in a privet hospital in the country, I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband Mr.Guessan Martin, the sum of ($8,500,000.00 USD) which he deposited in BANK Here and I need a very honest and God fearing Christian that can use this funds for God's work. I found your email address from the internet and decide to contact you.
I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian and whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth.
Please if you would be able to use these funds for the Lord's work kindly reply me. Dont forget to always pray for me because all my hope to survive is in God the creator who holds death and life.
Hoping to receive your reply.
Mrs. Sandra Guessan