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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- 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: "Mrs. Angeline" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 02:40:50 -0500
Subject: USE THIS FUNDS $5.5MUSD FOR CHARITY PURPOSE
Greeting My Dear Friend,
My name is Mrs. Angeline Tuara, from Cook Islands. Also a citizen of
New Zealand I presently lived in Africa as an industrialist now
currently hospitalized in a private hospital here in Benin republic in
Africa as a result of brain cancer.
My purpose of writing you is because I was led by the spirit of God to
offer you the money $5.5million that I have in my private account in
Africa now that is clear that I am approaching the last days of my life.
I am 56 years old and if anything happens to me the funds $5.5million
dollars will just lost! I want you to receive the funds for the work
of God and charity. May the good Lord bless you for the work you are
doing already and may he give you wisdom to continue it.
My bank will send you Atm Master Card $5.5million when you received
the Atm Master Card, you will be withdrawing $20,000usd per day from
any Atm Machine in your country till you withdraw the total
$5.5million dollars completed Or they will transfer the funds directly
to your bank account.
I will reveal further information / details to you as soon as I
receive your positive reply in my private email: email@example.com
,have a nice day and God be with you.
Mrs. Angeline Tuara