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:
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: hr <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 22:59:03 +0330
Subject: Re: Four charity organizations
My happiness is that I have lived a worthy life. My doctor told me that I have serious sickness which is cancer problem. Knowing my condition I decided to donate my funds to you. I want this funds to be used for the orphanages, poor and widows. Please i do not want a situation where this funds will be used in an ungodly manner like what my brothers have done in the past. That's why I'm taking this decision. I'm not afraid of death because I know where I'm going. Please have me in your prayers always. The last of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit of united state dollars $47,000,000 that I have with a finance/Security Company. I will want you to dispatch it to charity organizations if only you will be sincere. As soon as i get an answer from you i will give you contacts of my bank and my attorney.
God be with you.
Mrs. Wendy Barber
NB Please do not share my email address with anyone as I have received some emails from some unscrupulous people claiming to be charity organizations and other weird stories.