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)
- "keep this confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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: Mrs Christy Walton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2016 20:45:28 -0500
Subject: (no subject)
Greetings my chosen one,
I know it will be a great surprise to you reading from me today but
consider this a divine intervention as a top man of God explained to my
understanding so do not be afraid at all, it's because of the situation
of things surrounding me that has made me to cry out as I was touched by
God Almighty to open up to you because I never knew things would turn
this way my name is Mrs. Christy Walton a great citizen of United States
of America born
in Jackson, Wyoming, United States, I bring to you a proposal which I
you to assist me with. I am worth $5.4 billion Dollars currently which
rated me as
the 2nd Richest Woman in the World. But as the saying goes, money is not
everything. It is painful now to let you know that I have been suffering
from a Heart disease for the past 22 years and just few weeks ago my
Doctor told me that I won't survive the illness. And my Will being with
Lawyer of which my family is aware about, but nobody is aware of my 40%
Bank Worth which is $1,000,000,000 (0ne Billion United State
Dollars).Please reply if interested.
please do keep this confidential.
Mrs Christy Walton