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:
- "million united states 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)
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Dr Dosoo Peters" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2016 05:43:23 -0500
Subject: COMPENSATION FOR YOUR EFFORT
I wish to inform you that I have concluded that transaction successful with the help of a lady in Russia and I am currently in Euromed Clinic Hospital in St. Petersburg Russia waiting for the right time of God.
I dropped an amount of $1,000,000.00(one million United States dollars) with my secretary Mrs Elizabeth Louis as a compensation to you by trying to assist me in the past but it did not work out between Us. contact her with her private email address(email@example.com) she will be there to assist you recieve the money without any inch via my accounting officer with the paying bank.
I did this out of sympathy and good desire as my pastor adviced so that my soul can rest in peace, I want you to make a very good use of this fund to assist the lesser privilege and charity organisations as I have few months to stay alive due to the kidney cancer as you already know. The doctor here has made it clear that i will die soon.
May God bless you while you pray for my soul.