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:
- ",500,000" (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.
- email@example.com (Mail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Rosemary Anthony" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2016 07:30:08 +0100
Subject: My Dearest in Christ
My Dearest in Christ,
With warm heart I offer my friendship and greetings to you in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. Please spare little of your time and carefully read my message. If for any reason you find this message offensive, please ignore it and do accept my apology for any inconvenience it cost you to read.
My name is Mrs. Rosemary Anthony the wife of late Engr. Edward Anthony the Former Executive Director of AFC Petrochemical Company West Africa. I work with AFC Petrochemical Company as the export Managing Director in United Kingdom. I'm 73yrs old woman suffering from prolonged cancer of the breast here in St Thomas Hospital UK, and from all medical indications, my condition has really deteriorated and its pretty obvious that i may not live for more than six months owning to the rapid growth by stage and the excruciating pain that accrues to it.
After going through your profile i decided to contact you as i was led by God to donate my wealth in contribution to the development of Church and society with major focus on the poor and victims of HIV/AIDS. Based on this, I deposited the sum of $2,500,000.00 Million USD in a Bank for charity project, because i married my late Husband for over 9 years but unfortunately we have no child together. And for that reason i have no child to leave my legacy for.
I have prayed over this for the Lord to direct me to honest person whom I can entrust this charity project, and I believe my contact's to you is divine, and is God intervention that you are chosen for this work. Having relatives; I have consider my relatives before contacting you from this sick bed, because my relatives will use the money for their own personal projects, and they will not use the money to build a charitable foundation in my memory as i wish.
You will keep 20% of the total $2,500,000.00 Million USD for yourself, and 80% will be used to build a charitable foundation and federation in the fight against cancer in my memory. I wait for your prompt response to enable me direct you to my personal attorney whom will assist you in receiving the said $2,500,000.00 Million USD.
Mrs. Rosemary Anthony
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