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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Emma Mahdi <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Emma Mahdi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:28:26 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Hello Dear Friend.
Hello Dear Friend.Â
Please I need your Urgent help as i do not know whom to meet, I believe that With the confidence,trust, which I found in you i decided to confide in you.
I'm Ms Emmy Mahdi,the only child of my late parents Mr/Mrs Mahdi. My father was a highly reputable businessman a (Raw Gold merchant) who operated in Libya during his days.It is sad to say that he was gunned down and killed in our home by unknown gunmen during 2011 Libyan civil war.
Though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been masterminded by an uncle of his and my mother later died as result of cancer illness. Before her death my mother "Willed" to me the sum of eight million three hundred thousand dollars (USD 8.300,000:00) left in a storage facility overseas.I can not go after this money because of my inexperience that is why i am Contacting you now to help me as my late parents foreign partner.
I am a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do, this is because I have suffered a lot of set back as a result of incessant political crisis in my country, the problem of my parents actually brought sorrow to my life.Please am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards to move the money to your country and adopt me as your adoption child. Consider this from the bottom of your heart and accept to help me please, am ready to offer you 25% of the entire sum, if you help me recover my inheritance money.
Your ideas will be highly appreciated.
My sincere regards,