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:
- "million american 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)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: GISELE MARTIN <email@example.com>
Reply-To: GISELE MARTIN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2016 18:26:52 +0900 (JST)
Subject: From: Miss Gisele Martin
From: Miss Gisele Martin,
I am writing this letter with due respect and heartful of
tears since we have not known or met
My name is Miss Gisele Martin. I am the only daughter of late Chief Felix Martin. My father was a preeminent oil and gas entrepreneur in West Africa before he died in 2014. He also had extensive investments in real estate, the
agricultural and banking sectors. My mother died together with my siblings in a ghastly automobile accident along Yamoussoukro express way when I was barely 9 years old and since then my father took me so special as his
I prayed before contacting you and I believed that you are the rightful person to help me out of my horrible situation. Please I need your assistance
to transfer my inherited money 10.5 million American dollars to your country for investment ventures under your care and directive, while I will continue my education in your country after the transfer.
It is my desire to come over to your country to further my education while you invest and manage my inherited money. Please I am an orphan and I need your assistance to transfer my inherited money to your country. I will also need your assistance to secure a nice school for me in your country, where I will continue my education.
I am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful transfer of my inherited money into your nominated account. As soon as I receive your reply indicating your interest to assist me to transfer the money to your country, I will give you all the necessary information you may require to proceed towards transferring the money to your account as I believe that this
transaction would be concluded within few days you signify your interest to assist me. Please, consider this and get back to me as soon as possible. Immedaitely I confirm your willingness ,I will send to you my picture and also give you more details about myself and the bank where my late father deposited the fund, so that you can reach the bank and confirm the existence of the fund as well, because seeing is believing.
Anticipating to hear from you urgently.
Thanks and God bless you.