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)
- "30% for you " (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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Luna Seba <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mrs Luna Seba <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 01:38:06 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Donation For Charity
Donation For Charity
I am Mrs.Luna Seba i have been diagnosed
with Esophageal cancer .It has defied all forms of medical treatment,
and Right now, I have only about a few months to live and I want you to
Transfer the sum of ( $3.400,000.00) united states dollars to your
account so you can assist me Distribute my funds to charity homes in
your country ,
I have set aside 30% for you and your family keep
while you donate 70% to the less privilage people,this will be my last
wish. There is no risk involved the fund belongs to me and i will send
you all the documents as soon as i hear from you.
I will give you
more details or full storry as soon as i receive your reply as the fund
was deposited with a bank. Please Can you keep it secret?