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:
- "million 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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Helen Jones" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Helen Jones" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:40:55 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Greetings my dear,
Â Greetings my dear,
I don't know how my generosity offer may sound to you, especially as it comes from a stranger, as it's the only change I have to give my wealth away for charity work due to my health situation. I am Mrs Helen Jones.I am willing to donate the sum of US$15.000,000.00 million dollars to your care.
I will like to hand you over this fund as a donation to help flood affected and poor street children or to establish a manufacturing company to create job opportunity for jobless people as I cant invest byself due my prsent condition of ill health , I want to hand over this fund to you as it was my vow to establish charity project before I leave the world. I took this decision because I don't have any Child that will inherit this fund, and my husband relatives have seized all his investments due to that I don't have a Child.
I will offer you 20 percent of the total fund for any expenses that may occur during this charity work, and I want you to always pray for me for my up coming surgery.
Lastly, I honestly pray that this money when transferred will be used for the said purpose even though I am late then, because I have come to find out that wealth acquisition without Love is vanity.
I await urgent reply.
Mrs Helen Jones