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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Emilly Sommer" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2015 21:23:14 +0100
Subject: PLEASE HELP ME.
Greetings to you my dear beloved one
Your first reaction to this mail will be total rejection, scare and may be unbelief, owing largely to the atrocities people committed these days in quest for easy wealth. This email comes from a devastated, sorrowful and emotional laden soul that needs compassion from a kind and conscience driven person, who can wipe away my tears against all odds, perhaps when I am gone beyond this sinful world.
I married to late Dr. Michael sommer, who left me with unimaginable pain to eternity after a brief illness. I have been entrusted with the sum $4.8 Million, the accrued savings and life insurance gratuity of my late husband in the custody of a Finance Company in United States of America. I have been diagnosed of a complex case of ovarian cancer that has spread into my pelvic cavity, consequently, is due for surgery as the only cure'. According to experts, a cure that allows me to breath for few days. Obviously, according to my doctor, my days are numbered! I may die any moment from the above sickness.
I took this decision because I want you to recover the money for your prudent care, management and safekeeping. Use it to secure traveling papers for my daughter Charlotte who is presently in one of the African country and train her as your adopted child. Since my illness is terminal and the fact that relatives and friends have plundered so much of my wealth I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them because my daughter is like my mirror now. In view of the complexity of my illness, my best legacy for my daughter will be to have her grown into adulthood under the supervision of someone whose mind is driven by conscience.
Please kindly get back to me if youre willing to assist me in this Endeavor.
Mrs. Emilly Sommer