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:
- "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)
- "remain blessed" (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: Mrs Sarah Jehi <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mrs Sarah Jehi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 22:35:10 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Donation for charity
Donation for charity
Greetings to you and sorry if this message came to you as a surprise. My name is Mrs Sarah Jehi a widow, I found your email address through my late husbands internet dater late Mr. Jehi Johnson
I am presently admitted at the hospital suffering from a blood cancer and Parkinson diseases. I have only about a few months to live and I want you to Transfer the sum of ( $6.500,000.00) united states dollars to your account so you can assist me Distribute my funds to charity homes in your country ,
I have set aside 20% for you and your family keep while you donate 80% to the less privilage people,
I will give you more details or full storry as soon as i receive your reply as the fund was deposited with a bank,
Mrs Sarah Jehi