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:
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Liliane Bettencourt" <951PKD@977899nyn.website.tk>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2016 06:31:23 +0200
Subject: Attn: For Your Kind Attention
I am very glad to write you this mail, my name is Mrs. Liliane Bettencourt, and I am from Omani ancestral origin living in Abidjan for many years with my family. I am a good merchant; I have companies and good shares in various banks. I spend all my life on investment and Real Estate business. All the way I lost my husband (Mr. Sulamit Bettencourt) and two kids in a fatal train crash in 2014
Since I lost my family, I have been living a self-minding life; I don't know much and care about people. But last year 2015 around July, I was sent a letter of medical checkup as my personal doctor testified that I have lungs cancer which can easily take off my life soon. I found it uneasy to survive myself because a lot of investment cannot be run and manage by me again. So I quickly call up a spiritual adviser to give me positive thinking on this solution as my adviser. He minister to me to share my properties to the poor and needy, people that need money to survive both students that need money for their education and business people for their investment and for less privilege around the globe.
My condition would not allow me handle disbursement and carry out other functions actively, if you sincere and honest with heart for helping me distribute money to orphanages homes in your country and other country's you wish to. I will give more information to you as I await your response immediately.
Mrs. Liliane Bettencourt.