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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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: Donna Surles <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 10:02:13 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: EMERGENCY PLEASE READ
Â Dear beloved,
I am writing this mail to you with heavy tears In my eyes and great sorrow in my heart. My Doctor told me that I will die in three months time, due to the complication of the esophageal cancer I was diagnosed. Base on this development I want to WILL my fortune to you.
I am contacting you to assist me, use this Fund to build charity organization. I would want you to keep 20% of the fund to yourself and dispatch the rest to orphanage / charity organizations. I grew up as an Orphan and i dont have anybody/family member to take over of my wealth after my death. The total money in question is $8,000,000-00 Million United States Dollars. I will provide you with other information, once you indicate your willingness to assist me fulfill my wish before my death.
Mrs. Donna Surles