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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "levy " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "calvary greetings" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Donna Brown Kimberly" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Donna Brown Kimberly" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:02:31 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU ON THIS?
From: Mrs.Donna Brown Kimberly
Calvary greetings to you. My name is Mrs. Donna Brown Kimberly l am yet to get an email from you based on my proposed project of Five Million, Five hundred Thousand Pounds(Â£5,500.000.00) with you. My Doctor has just notified me that my days are numbered and l may die soon and l have to make sure that this fund get across to you in good health, please do get back to me. I took this decision because I know that there are a lot of poor people suffering from different kind of diseases and nobody to come to their aid, With God all things are possible. And also to Help the Motherless and less privilege and also for the Assistance of the widows according to (JAMES 1:27).At the Moment I cannot take any telephone calls right now due to the fact that my relatives are around me and my Health status. I have adjusted my WILL and my Executor is Aware I have changed my will, you and him will arrange the Transfer of the funds from the Private Finance Company to your humble selfâs wish you all the best and may the good Lord bless you abundantly, and please use the funds well and Always extend the good work to others.
Contact my Executor(Barrister Levy Bishop)with your full names, Contact telephone/fax number and your full address and tell him that I have WILLED FiveMillion, Five hundred Thousand Pounds(Â£5,500.000.00) to you and I have also notified him that I am WILL-IN that amount to you for a specific and good work Thanks and God bless.
Name : Barrister Bishop Levy
NB: I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality in this matter until the task is accomplished as I donât want anything that will jeopardize my last wish. And Also I will be contacting with you by email as I donât want my relation or anybody to know because they are always around me. Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Donna brown Kimberly