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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "million us 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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Linda Claes" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2016 09:45:01 +0000
My name is Mrs Linda Claes, I have been suffering from ovarian cancer
disease and the doctor says that i have just few weeks to leave.I am
from Sweden but based in Ivory Coast,Africa since ten years
ago as a business woman dealing with gold exportation,now that i am
about to end the race like this,without any family members and no
child.I have $4.2 Million US DOLLARS in COBACI BANK in Ivory Coast.
But my mind is not at rest because i am writing this letter now through
the help of my laptop beside my sick bed. I have decided to donate $4.2
Million US Dollars in Cobaci bank which i want to entrust into your hands
to use in helping the orphanage home in your country,but you must assure
me that you will take only 50% of the total money and give the rest 50% to
the orphanage home in your country for my
soul to be at rest.
As soon as i hear from you that you are competent to execute my desire, i
will instruct my lawyer and the bank management to make the immediate
transfer into your account.Kindly Contact Me Back please it is very
Mrs Linda Claes