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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Bella Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Miss Bella Williams <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2015 22:01:28 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Hello My Dear Good Friend
Hello My Dear Friend,
How are you over there in your country, I believe you are fine and doing well. I hope my mail meets you in good health today. I am much delighted and privileged to contact you again, after all these time, it takes destiny and courage to remember Good friends like you and at the same time, show gratitude to you despite circumstances that made us separate and disrupted our transaction, which ultimately did not work out as we had projected then.
The good news is that I have successfully transferred the fund with the cooperation of a new partner from Netherlands. I use this opportunity to inform you that the transaction finally worked out and I am contacting you to let you know that I have left a cetified Check of $1.5 million in your Name and I gave the check to Rev John Mark to mail it to you once you contact him.
I really appreciated your tremendous effort and contribution to start off and make things work to the stage you were unable to continue. Please accept the certified check as it is from the bottom of my heart.
Please reply back if this message meets you in good health, so that I will give you the contact info to contact the Rev John Mark ok.
Greetings Bella William