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:
- "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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs.Ghaith Arakkal <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 25 Jun 2016 16:19:56 +0200
Subject: Devine offer for less privileged.
I am very glad to write you this mail, my name is Mrs.Ghaith Arakkal, I am an Kuwait but have been living in Abidjan , Cote D Ivoire for the past 40 years with my family. I am a good merchant, I have companies and good share in various banks. I spend all my life on investment and Real Estate business. All the way I lost my husband (Mr.Alex Haddad Arakkal) and two Sons in a fatal train crash in 2014
I have lived my life minding myself and my family only, I don't know much and care about people. But last year 2015 around July, I was sent a letter of medical check up as my personal doctor testifies that I have lung 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 global.
Please contact me for more directives, and if you can still help me to 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.
Contact me here (email@example.com)